Get a load of these headlines about the ‘impending’ stock market crash.
Stock Market Crash: Expert Says ‘Far Deeper Market Losses Will Emerge’ – Business Insider, September 2023
‘The Big Short’ is preparing for a stock market crash! – The Motley Fool, September 2023
Here are the odds that the stock market will crash – MarketWatch, August 2023
It’s no wonder every taxi driver, armchair commentator and would-be investor thinks the market is about to crash…
If only someone would tell us the stock market falls 10%, on average, around once a year.
But, as Tony Robbins said in his book Unshakeable, only 1-in-5 ‘corrections’ turns into a market crash…
Maybe everyone would sleep a bit easier?
Or perhaps we should remind them that over 150 years of financial data suggests companies on the stock market improve their profits, on average, 6-8% per year.
Maybe that would help everyone become long-term investors and just stay the course?
But maybe not…
After studying investing for 10+ years, here’s what I’ve come up with. Watch it LIVE.
After studying investing for 10+ years, speaking to hundreds of investors, sitting down with billionaires, touring Australia, getting to know some of the best CEOs our country has produced, and investing for my family, here are my 10 rules for why everyone should be invested RIGHT NOW…
(Psst. I highly encourage you to consider adopting one or more of these 10 rules for your own investing — saving yourself years of potentially sleepless nights trying to figure it out the hard way.)
- Capitalism works. It’s not a perfect system but there’s nothing more concerning to me than when someone finds a reason to move against capitalism. Let’s think about it: If companies and entrepreneurs create value for society by solving problems, shareholders like us who are supporting them should be rewarded. After all, if capitalism didn’t solve problems, like the beautiful cup of coffee I’m willing to buy on my way to the train, there would be no-one selling coffee. This is capitalism at work. And business owners can benefit.
- The stock market is a vehicle for transferring wealth from the impatient to the patient (see Buffett annual letters). Unfortunately, people who treat the stock market like a gambling machine will get results to match. Look at the Forbes Rich List — all of them own businesses (or had parents who passed down wealth… from their businesses!).
- Wealth creation can be summed up in two words: accumulate assets. Too many people spend too long acquiring liabilities, like car loans and credit cards, not realising that these horrible things are compound interest in reverse. Conversely, assets are things that grow and pay income while you sleep. Get as many of those as you can. Is there a better place to find them than the stock market?
- Fewer investment decisions often result in better decisions. I’ve found many studies that show when we have fewer decisions to make, we tend to be more careful. As comedian Eddie Murphy once said, “If you’re starving and somebody throw you a cracker you gonna be like this: goddamn that’s the best cracker I ever ate in my life!” Treat every investment decision like you could only make 50 of them and see what happens. For experienced investors, this rule means you can afford to take big bets — but only when you know what you are doing… see below.
- Diversification is vitally important for everyone who has better things to do than manage an investment portfolio. I’m talking to the 95% of Australians who don’t find it fun to sift through annual reports and read investing books. Consider ETFs. Diversification is the only free lunch in investing. However…
- The benefits of extra diversification rapidly diminish after 10 uncorrelated positions (see Evans & Archer). This means you don’t need to own 30 ETFs. You can build a strong Core portfolio with 5-10. Just make sure you’re thoughtful about how you do it. Then, around the outside, have a bit of fun! Use a separate brokerage account and buy some individual shares you like. Just remember…
- Less than 5% of companies on the stock market are responsible for all of the stock market’s wealth creation over bonds (see Professor Bessembinder). When choosing individual stocks to buy and hold, I want you to remember what one of the most famous investing studies shows: you need to be realistic about the odds of success. Once this sinks in, you’ll realise the importance of doing proper research, letting your winners run and being choosy.
- There are three commonly accepted investing ‘edges’: behaviour, analytical ability and information. If we want to do better than average, all investors would be wise to focus first and foremost on their behaviour — it’s the easiest way to get better outcomes than the ‘average’ investor. In an age of AI stock picking, high-frequency trading and market integrity laws, ‘being quick’ or trying to ‘trade better’ than a computer is wildly audacious. It’s not worth it.
- Most people shouldn’t invest in individual shares because they lack the time, inclination and curiosity. One of the first things I ever learned is that to be a fantastic stock picker, you need all of the above: time to research, a desire to do it for yourself, and an insatiable curiosity about how the world works.
- Investors do not need to choose between ‘active’ or ‘passive’ — everyone should use both in a portfolio. Like the young girl in the taco ad says, “Porque no los dos?”. In English, “why not have both (hard and soft shell)?” Over the years I’ve been investing I’ve realised that anyone who has a very strong argument for, or against, something, probably wants to sell you something. You should question these ‘false choices’ when you’re presented with them because you can pick the best of active (e.g. stock picking) and the best of passive (e.g. index funds). For Rask Invest, we use mostly passive ETFs for our Core portfolios, but can also take active bets on individual stocks or managed funds, when we think it’s the best idea for our community.
How do I use these rules?
If you’re anything like me, once you see all of these facts and simple beliefs laid out, it’s easier than ever to tune out the noise and remember why it pays to be a long-term investor in the stock market almost all the time.
Where else can you simply and easily accumulate assets, benefit from almost instant diversification, start with a few thousand bucks, contribute regularly, and make money while you sleep?
Let’s talk about it – Join me live on YouTube
If this topic has you as fascinated as it does for me, or you simply want to talk about the ASX, investing, retirement, passive income, property… you name it, why not join me and hundreds of investors LIVE this Wednesday at 6 pm?
We’ll be going LIVE for the first Rask LIVE, brought to you by Selfwealth.
You can catch me and other like-minded investors for 60 minutes by navigating to this link on YouTube. The stream will kick off shortly after 6pm, Australian eastern time.