Untucked Episode 99 – Investing at all time highs

Listen to the team discuss investing at all time high’s here or the full episode here.

Meghan Tait: [00:00:00] All right. Um, so today for Coach’s Corner, we are going to Um, refer to an article written by Ben Carlson called What if you only invested at market peaks? A common question we get from clients is when is the best time to invest? When things are going well and markets are hitting all time highs, there’s often apprehension of putting money into the market because of the possibility it goes down, um, shortly thereafter.

There’s been a lot of work done to support the fact that investing when they have the money regardless of market environments is the best time to do so. But as humans, our emotions don’t always adhere to those facts.

Jeff Mastronardo: Yeah, I think that we have just been hearing this a lot lately, talking to clients, talking to prospective clients about like investing money if they have money and they’re just super, everyone seems to be apprehensive about why would I do it now?

Like it’s at an all time high and it just seems like such a goofy comment or, or thing for them to say [00:01:00] when dollar cost averaging is not. the preferred method, like from a mathematical standpoint from a history standpoint. Now you might get lucky, but like if you have money, 100, 000 that you want to invest nine times out of 10 is not in your favor to dollar cost average 10 grand in over the next 10 months.

You’re better off investing it right away. All of it because we know the longer your money’s invested. the better chance it has to do. And people just don’t wrap their brain around that for some reason. And this is the same thing. It’s like, if I have money and I, and I have a long term perspective, it doesn’t matter where the market is right now.

Because if I’m investing for the next 10, 15, 20, 30 years, you’re better off investing now. So it doesn’t matter where it is, unless. [00:02:00] There’s like a, like a, um, a short timeframe for when that money’s needed.

Meghan Tait: Right.

Jeff Mastronardo: And that’s what I don’t think people get. Like, if you have the 100, 000 or 10, 000, is that earmarked for something?

No, it’s earmarked for my retirement. Well, then it should go in right now. I don’t care if the S& P is at 5, 200 because 10 years from now it’s going to be higher than that. 15 years is gonna be higher than that. 20 years is gonna be higher than that. I mean, the number that he references in his article, let me find it.

Like it’s just wild. And it’s the one that really stuck with me on this chart. Like, cause I can remember very vividly. I can’t remember 1987. I wasn’t investing in 1987, but I can certainly remember March of 2000. And I can certainly remember October of 2007. And if you invested in March of 2000, you immediately lost 50 percent [00:03:00] of your money.

But now 20 years later, your money’s 220 percent more like, that’s just crazy. Like I bet nobody would believe that.

Meghan Tait: Assuming you stayed invested over that whole time. Assuming you stayed

Jeff Mastronardo: invested and didn’t freak out over that 20 year period. Yeah. 23 year period at any point, right. Cause then all, all bets are off.

But even 07, like if you invested in October of 07, you immediately lost 57%. That’s crazy. But 10 years later you have 105 percent more money than you did when you started.

Meghan Tait: And that’s, that’s the concern people have, right? When they, when they are making these decisions is that at all time highs immediately there becomes right.

A new, data point on this chart. Um, and that’s kind of the emotional obstacle you have to get around, which is what you’re describing. The reality [00:04:00] of the time frame in front of you is going to benefit you more by getting the money invested. But looking at this data, there’s going to be a lot of people who say, well, I’d rather have less on the, you know, at the long, at the end of that than see my money cut in half immediately.

Jeff Mastronardo: Yeah, and I think my comment about dollar cost averaging is probably got a lot of people saying like I’m wrong and I’m an idiot, but Most Time frames the market is up If you just happen to decide not to dollar cost average in one of those rare instances When the market goes down Yes, you would have been better off dollar cost average, but most times you won’t be.

You will be better off getting it invested now. And like, don’t even look at who cares if you don’t need it right now, you don’t need a five years from now. You don’t need a 10 years now. Then don’t even look at it and don’t even try to go back and calculate which scenario would have made you [00:05:00] better off.

Mike Traynor: Yeah. So, um, the recent one that that’s kind of. Within memory for a lot of people is that is the two thousands, right? So you had the, the internet and tech thing, which kind of peaked in March of 2000. And then there was a subsequent basically cut in half. Um, I’m talking about the S and P 500 in this case.

And then remember, so 2000 and 2001, 2002 were all down years. Um, and then if you held on, You clawed your way back, but then you had to deal with 2007 and 2008, which was another, you know, 50 plus percent decline. So by the time you get to 2010, that decade, you’re not even, you’re barely underwater, but you’re, you’re, you’re not quite back to where you started.

So like incredibly painful 10 years, it’s all said and done. And by the way, one, that’s an [00:06:00] example of, of what would happen over 10 years, maybe five out of a hundred times. I mean, they coined it like the lost decade. But if you have more than 10 years to work with at that time, let’s say you had 20 years, the numbers right here, you would have made 219 percent on your money when that next decade was said and done.

So the point about like if you have any time frame at all to work with, you shouldn’t care at all about. The level of the market and on the flip side, you know, we know people that, you know, the S and P got back to an all time high in 2013 or 14. I want to say recovering from the financial crisis and all that.

Well, it’s at an all time high and people are saying, well, it’s an all time high. I’m going to wait for it to pull back. Wait for it to pull back. Well, what’s happened from that point in time, 2014 ish. Where was it? Where was the S and P was at like [00:07:00] 2, 100 or something like that. It’s more than way more than doubled since then way more.

So it’s more than it’s psychological, but it’s also like, I think a lot of times we hear people say, well. It’s at an all time high, we’re just going to wait until it like pulls back a bit and then we’ll get it. Well, in that case, you never got in. Right. Ever. Or, yeah, you sat there for nine years, ten years, and you’re still sitting there with what you had in cash.

Yeah, and I And you will never get those returns back.

Meghan Tait: And I also challenge that because of the emotional element of it, meaning We’re going to wait till things pull back. Oh, and then we’re going to be able to convince you to get in. Right. When, when shit starts to hit the fan and there’s a, there’s some other thing, a pandemic, something, uh, an election year, whatever it is, something else that we’re dealing with in the markets or in the country or in the economy.

And at that point, [00:08:00] you’re going to say, Oh, now’s a good time. I mean, it just, it, we don’t work like that. Humans don’t operate that way. And the people who are saying, yes, that’s exactly when I would do it. The. Okay, one out of a hundred, maybe end up pulling that trigger.

Jeff Mastronardo: Yeah.

Meghan Tait: But the environment becomes scarier and you’re then going to deploy your money.

It’s just way less likely.

Mike Traynor: It’s like, I mean, maybe this is a bad analogy, but it would be like if you’re, if you’re buying a house and real estate prices are at an all time high, which they often are, I mean, you kind of don’t say. I’m assuming you can afford the house, right? You don’t, you don’t say, well, I’m going to wait for a little pullback here.

Right. You know why? Because you kind of know that over time, the price of your house is going to be higher than it is. What then now, even if the, even if it’s an all time high price, right? Maybe

Jeff Mastronardo: not a year later, but when you go to sell it 10, 15 years from [00:09:00] now or longer, it’s going to be worth more. Yeah.

Yeah. Just like investments Yeah, so if it’s not if you don’t need if you’re not buying your house now with the intent to sell it six or month six months or a year later But yeah, you’re gonna make it’s going to be worth more. I don’t want to say you’re gonna make money on right? All right more and and I’m obviously like if if the decisions are Put it all in now.

I don’t want to do that dollar cost average or never invest it Yeah, obviously dollar cost if that makes you feel better You If that will get you in the market over some time frame, absolutely do that, but certainly do not sit on the sidelines and wait until you think there’s a pullback happening.

Mike Traynor: Yeah, and, and the math behind the dollar cost averaging is pretty simple.

It’s basically if you’re buying something, if you’re buying in every month, let’s say six out of 10 months, the markets are up and I’m making that up, but it’s kind of close to that. Um, so. By that logic [00:10:00] You’re going to be paying higher prices Six out of ten times and not four out of ten times.

Jeff Mastronardo: It makes perfect sense, man, and I didn’t it I didn’t even Understand that until I was going through the cfp curriculum and they’re like, yep Dollar cost averaging is not more favorable in most cases than just investing and i’m like What are you talking about?

Like dollar we’ve been told We’ve been told All of our lives, a dollar cost averaging is the way, but it’s so simple. Like when you think about if the market’s up 13 percent this year and you’re going to invest 12, 000 in the market that year, you’re better off putting all 12 grand in, in January to get the full 13 percent return versus doing 1, 000 a month.

I was blown away, like, like totally opened my eyes. I was blown away by it.

Meghan Tait: I think your point’s a good one though. And we can probably end there that like. If it means doing nothing, then dollar cost averaging is, is, is good and, and serviceable. But if you’re debating [00:11:00] between the advantages or disadvantages of kind of a lump sum investing in an all time high market, do it.

Just get in. Yep. Yep.