Sometimes we can lose sight of what we are doing (or should be doing).
With all the complexities, misinformation, emotions, politics, and just general chaos and ignorance, it is not surprising that investors can lose sight of the fundamentals that surround prudent investing. So, let us step back for a moment and take note.
What are we doing when we invest in the publicly traded financial markets (meaning stocks, bonds, mutual funds)? Is it just another form of gambling where the House holds all the cards, and we just close our eyes, roll the dice, and pray? Certainly not!
On the contrary, as investors we become shareholders (or partial owners) of real companies, operated by real people, who have a mandate from us to make a profit. This is the essence of capitalism. While there are no guarantees that every company will be profitable, this universal truth of profit represents a shared incentive by companies, which is reflected directly into the financial markets and debunks those who are reluctant and critical of investing.
The chart below paints this reality well. The stock market (represented by the blue lines) is just a reflection of an economy made up of real companies and real people, and which has certainly produced nice profits for investors for quite some time.
Note that the green line in the graph essentially represents money held in the bank or savings accounts. Not the best place to be if you are trying to make some headway towards realizing your financial goals.
So why are we investing? Because we have a surplus, and we need a productive place to store it to help us fund our long-term financial goals. Sure, there are other places to “store” that surplus (the bank, real estate, coffee cans buried in the backyard), but the publicly traded financial markets offer an accessible and productive long-term storehouse as the graph above depicts. Yes, there will be times when the stock market shakes, rattles, and rolls, but ultimately it will reflect a growing economy made up of companies that have mandates from their shareholders to make a profit.
If we plan and invest well, the markets offer us growth potential to help us realize those goals. On the contrary, if we view the markets as a casino, by either playing the “hot hand” or avoiding it altogether, we have missed the point and will likely not benefit from the potential growth of a prudent long-term investor.
As to the How of it all, we talk about that often (Insights – BCM Advisors (bcm-advisors.com) so we will keep it brief this time: Having a solid, time-tested approach, and the discipline to stick to it, are essential and are exhibited well in our BCM All Weather investment strategy and our Viewpoint Planning approach.
In summary, we are….
Surplus of Money
and storing it in the
Publicly Traded Financial Markets
which are made of
Real Companies and Real People with a Profit Mandate
and which have proven to be a
Productive Long-Term Storehouse
using a time-tested and disciplined approach called
BCM All Weather Investing and Viewpoint Planning
as we work towards
Realizing Our Financial Goals
P.S. – You may want to share this with your children or grandchildren to help direct them towards a better understanding of the basics of investing and planning for their future.