If someone said, "I think most people will be in a 8.89% better mood in the year 2024," we'd call them delusional.
When someone does the same thing by projecting market returns for 10-years, we call them Expert Analysts.
Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett's investing partner, said: "You don't have to be brilliant, only a little bit wiser than the other guys, on average, for a long, long time."
We all agree that Warren Buffett is a great investor. In fact he's been a great investor for seven decades. But what makes him rich? Of his current $60 billion net worth, $59.7 billion was added after his 50th birthday, and $57 billion came after his 60th.
So what if Buffett started saving in his 30s and retired in his 60s? Most probably you would never heard of him. His secret is time... The longer the merrier, he believed. Plus he has a skill is investing.
Understanding the value of time could be the greatest, most important lesson a man learn in his history of investing.
The single best thing anyone can do to improve his or her financial state is encouraging themselves to save from as early an age as possible.
Just as saving gives you options in the future, debt takes options away. Not having the option of flexibility is the root of most financial problems. You can be a brilliant worker (or investor) and find yourself in financial ruin if you don't respect the power of debt. Income, wealth, and standard of living aren't as correlated as people think.
Most investors understand that stocks produce superior long-term returns, but at the cost of higher volatility.
Yet every time a bit of volatility play in the stock market, all tend to panic n ask "What the heck is going on?!"
The simplest answer is; Nothing is going on. This is normal and just what stocks do. Yes, there are exceptions when pumps and dumps count towards the crashes or booms but most of the time, fluctuations are normal. If not how traders earn money from a market?
So, be clear that Volatility, even really severe swings, is perfectly normal and shouldn't be feared. But unfortunately we do most of the time.
Forecasting market returns is dangerous;
A stock's future returns will be a package comprised of its dividend yield, its earnings growth, plus or minus changes in valuations (earnings multiples). That’s more than one can bargain for. Then with added bonus shares, some more value is going to come in your way.
Dividends and earnings growth for many companies can be reasonably projected. Many research analysts do and most of the time those could come pretty close too.
But what about the change in valuations? There's no way we could possibly know that. Why?
Stock market valuations reflect people's feelings about the future, swinging between optimism and fear. And there's just no way to know what people are going to think about the future in the future. How could you?
We can very well know a group of high-quality or blue chip companies that will build wealth for their shareholders over time. But we can never be specific what the stock markets have for them stored going forward.
As we step into 2014, one of the immense important facts you can do to improve your experience as an investor is remind yourself that investing may not be easy, but it's not difficult or complicated.
Professional investors, traders and pundits might make it seem complicated because they think of it like medicine, complex and dependent on detailed knowledge. Well.. It's not.
Investing is not rocket-science. If you allot money for investments from your salary, all you're doing is spending less than what we earn, saving the difference, investing it, and waiting. So there’s nothing wrong.
With time, with failures and success, anyone can master the art. We should constantly be aware of or should seek answers where we’ve gone wrong in a case of failure.. In addition, if succeed, we also should take a moment to think, what actions made it a success.
All the best.