Stay up to date with the latest news and happenings with the Lifetime blog. A library of thought-provoking articles to inform and enlighten on all things loans, insurance, investments and planning.
Albert Einstein famously said, “compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world, those who understand this, earn it… those that don’t, pay it.” The simple truth of compounding returns is the most important thing that matters for the long-term investor. Yet in today’s world we are consistently bombarded with distractions, become pre-occupied with other things, and we forget this simple truth.
There are several drivers of returns from investing in companies. The main two are from a company growing their earnings over time and from paying dividends to shareholders. But recently in New Zealand we have seen instances of another driver of returns - takeovers.
Happy New Year to all and I hope that you all had a wonderful and peaceful holiday season. As I noted in my recent quarterly performance report, we remain optimistic about the markets over the long-term but have a cautious short-term outlook as we expect volatility to remain with us for the foreseeable future.
Those who have been following share markets will know that returns during 2018 have been more variable (both up and down) than in the few years prior, which were unusually smooth.
In the past, we have written how volatility can be a friend to the long-term investor, by providing the opportunity to add to investments when prices are lower. October has provided an interesting test to this point, with global share markets finishing October down 6.5% on average (albeit only partly offsetting a 16% rise over the previous 12 months).
It is a changing world, one that is moving very quickly. Moore’s Law is a quoted observation that states computing power double every 2 years or so. With this rapid increase is computing power, ‘Big Business’ is putting this new technology to work (and making a profit).
Humans are irrational by nature – we’re afraid of mice, we play the lottery, and we perceive things to be superior if they have a higher price. For years both economic and finance theory ignored this fact and instead assumed everyone acted rationally when making financial decisions. But recently there has been a new train of thought – human emotion can have an impact on financial markets as much as any other aspect of life.
One of the benefits of being a long-term investor is that time is on your side! Long-term investors can skip over the short-term noise and just focus on achieving their long-term goals, (i.e. retirement savings). Short-term volatility is usually just a distraction.
It is the Custodian’s job to safeguard your assets and hold them in bare trust for your benefit. This means that if there are any financial problems with the Fund Manager, your investments are ring-fenced in a separate legal entity.
The first seven months of 2017 have seen global markets continue to go up at a surprisingly consistent rate. However, most investors, particularly those in growth or high growth investments, will be aware that equity markets rarely experience such blissful performance without some form of volatility.
For most investors, lower interest rates have been a key feature of the past 10 years, thanks to the extraordinary policies adopted by the world’s central banks. This has particularly reduced income returns on fixed interest investments, raising the question of how best to deliver the “income” part of Farming portfolio returns in the years ahead.
We mentioned a couple of updates ago that more ‘normal’ volatility has returned to markets so far in 2018. This can be unsettling to investors as they can start to worry about the value of their portfolios. However, volatility actually provides very valuable opportunities to the long-term investor.
In psychology (the science of mind and behaviour) and decision theory, loss aversion refers to people’s tendency to prefer avoiding losses rather than acquiring equivalent gains. Some studies have suggested that loss aversion is twice as powerful, psychologically, as gains.
Booster has always considered itself ‘responsible’ when looking after other people’s money! We also follow the six Principles of Responsible Investing (PRI) set in motion in 2005 by Kofi Annan of the UN. However, investors are increasingly looking for responsible investment to be clearer across the investment world.
As has been widely reported in the news, global share markets have fallen over the past few days, giving back 6% of recent gains. While this has been quicker than the usual decline, the size of the pullback is actually within the “normal” bounds of market behaviour, even when share markets are generally rising.
When you analyse the habits of those considered financially successful, you start to see trends in their everyday behaviour, Julian Lingard says.
1. They keep learning
Once they’ve identified areas in which they want to gain wealth, they start educating themselves in those fields.
Invest in your self-knowledge by reading the relevant books, following the right bloggers and spokespeople, and keeping up to date with policy changes in the news. A lot of websites in New Zealand even send daily or weekly updates to your mailbox. There are tons of resources out there (although it’s important to first check their credibility) that will help educate your financial decisions.