BWP Weekly Market Commentary

BWP Weekly Market Commentary

BWP Weekly Market Commentary

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Investing for the Long Term: How to Beat the Market Without Trying

By Jeff Gilbert

The market is a complex beast, and there are millions of people who are trying daily to tame it. It can be frustrating to see someone analyze trends carefully and make incredibly successful investment choices, while you feel like your results are only earning minimal results. We can feel that unless we become a genius in market trends, we won’t be successful.

However, with many years of experience under my belt, I can confidently say this is not the truth. You don’t have to outsmart the market in order to be successful. You don’t have to stress and worry about making the perfect trade. Successful investments are attainable and here’s why.

You Can’t Outsmart the Market

Outsmarting the market usually involves attempting to “buy low and sell high” by analyzing current market trends for inefficiencies or volatility indicators. This is a common strategy used by both portfolio managers and everyday investors alike. It may work sometimes, but it is far from perfect. 

In fact, a new SPIVA report shows that 68% of active fund managers underperformed their benchmarks in 2022. The long-term results of this report are even more significant: 84% of active fund managers underperform after 5 years and 95% underperform after 20 years.

Not only does outsmarting the market involve guessing when to buy in, but you then have to guess when to sell. That means for every gain, you have to be right twice to make timing the market worth it. Unfortunately, market moves can only truly be spotted in hindsight, and outsmarting the market is often closer to playing the lottery than it is to an educated guess.

You can be a successful investor simply by relying on time in the market instead of timing the market. The longer you stay invested in a particular asset, the more likely you are to experience growth over the long term. Considering the S&P 500 Index has averaged around 9.4% for the last 50 years, this strategy doesn’t seem all that bad. Buying and holding often results in much lower stress and a more secure investment experience for the average investor over the long term.

Riding the Wave Is Less Expensive

Trying to outsmart the market has been around just as long as the market itself, and though it rarely works, many people keep trying. Not only are you less likely to outperform the market through market timing, you could further reduce your returns depending on how often you trade. That’s because outsmarting the market can be expensive. 

Depending on your account type, asset class, and where you are executing your trades, you will likely be charged for every purchase and sale you make, and that’s on top of any taxes owed on gains. The more frequently you trade, the higher your transaction costs will be.

If you held the assets for less than a year, your gain will be taxed as ordinary income at your marginal tax rate, which can be as high as 37%. 

Even if you find an actively managed fund that is able to beat the market, they have to do so by a wide enough margin to cover its higher costs and more. As such, even some funds that beat the market end up with lower returns once fees are taken into account.

Staying Invested Produces Better Returns

Many investors will sell their positions during times of volatility in order to avoid or reduce a loss. But how do they know when to buy back in? This is one of the most difficult aspects of outsmarting the market, and it often leads to much less growth than staying invested the whole time would have produced. 

For instance, a recent study by Schwab Center for Financial Research found that bad market timing is worse than investing immediately, regardless of the market conditions at the time of investing. This indicates that even in market downturns, or just before a downturn, investors who invest immediately and remain invested will be better off than those who stay on the sidelines or attempt to time the market. 

The time value of money tells us that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow, and this is certainly the case when it comes to investing. The longer you are invested, the more likely you are to ride out the fluctuations of the day-to-day market and experience growth. 

Do You Have a Successful Investment Strategy?

The market is unpredictable and often takes everyone by surprise. Like picking the winning lottery numbers, the odds of picking a winning stock market strategy that never takes a tumble are pretty low—if not impossible. A successful investment strategy is one that can tune out the noise and focus on the long term instead. 

It’s this focus that we at Balboa Wealth Partners take pride in. It is our joy and honor to work with clients to create a plan that can help them reach their goals and beyond. When you partner with us, you’ll find years of knowledge and skills being used for your unique financial situation. Investing is for the long term, so start planning now. Give me a call at 949-445-1465 or email me at [email protected].

About Jeff

Jeff Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Balboa Wealth Partners, a holistic financial management firm dedicated to providing clients guidance today for tomorrow’s success. With over three decades of industry experience, he has worked as both an advisor and executive-level manager, partnering with and serving a diverse range of clients. Specializing in serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth families, Jeff aims to help clients achieve their short-term and long-term goals, worry less about their finances, and focus more on their life’s passions. Based in Orange County, Jeff works with clients throughout the entire country. To learn more, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or email [email protected]

Advisory services provided by Balboa Wealth Partners, Inc., an Investment Advisor registered with the SEC. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Balboa Wealth Partners and its Investment Advisor Representatives are properly licensed or exempt from registration.

Securities offered through Kingswood Capital Partners, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC.

Balboa offers advisory services independent of Kingswood. Neither firm is affiliated.