With Investing, Little Things Make a Big Difference
The difference between good and great is often found in the details. As discussed in this infographic, a few little ideas can make a big difference in the long run.
First, the equation for growing wealth is actually quite simple: produce more than you consume, and save the difference. Being disciplined and smart means that unnecessary expenses are cut, and any savings can go towards the bottom line. For example, if the money going towards a $4 latte each day was invested, it would amount to $25,994 in 10 years or $440,198 in 40 years. This is based on a fairly ambitious 8% annualized return, but still proves the point.
There are other expenses, including some coinciding with investing itself, that can eat away at the bottom line as well. Keep in mind that the investment industry is designed around taking a haircut off of each dollar spent, and that this money helps employ millions of people around the world. Fees, commissions, and other extras can add up. In the above example, a 1% difference in expenses translates to a $30,000 difference to the investor over 30 years. Keep in mind that the average mutual fund charges a whopping 1.163% in fees.
Related reading: The Myth of the Successful Money Manager.
Two other little things that make a big difference include investing early and proper portfolio diversification. By saving early, those extra years of compound interest can make an impact in the hundreds of thousands of dollars at retirement. By diversifying a portfolio, the example shows that 90% of risk from asset allocation can be avoided.
Original graphic from: Motif Investing
The Periodic Table of Investments
The investment universe is vast – but it’s also made up of many smaller components. See it all depicted in this nifty periodic table of investments.
Periodic Table of Investments
The investment universe is vast, but it’s also made up of many smaller moving pieces.
For serious investors, the foundation of the discipline is to understand the properties of these individual components, and to have them work in harmony to achieve a specific portfolio goal.
To do this successfully, one must understand the breadth of asset classes, tactics, and categories of investments that exist – and to know how they relate to one another.
The Chemicals Between Us
Today’s infographic comes from Phil Huber, the Chief Investment Officer for Huber Financial Advisors, who has cleverly depicted this relationship graphically in his blog.
Similar to how the physical universe is made up of chemical elements, he sees the possibilities around portfolio management as drawing from a broad pool of investing “elements”. Combine these different elements together, and you get compounds, structures, and eventually entire funds.
The periodic table of investments created by his team denotes each type of investment, the primary and secondary strategy related to it, and a color classification:
Here are the seven objectives that the top letters on each box refer to:
And finally, here are the colors that each block on the periodic table correspond to:
As you can see, considerable thought has been put into the categories and classifications. However, as Phil notes, this is simply the opinion of one person and it is not intended to be a universally accurate depiction of all portfolio management wisdom that exists:
I fully expect that there are a handful of omissions, or perhaps a few areas where one might flat-out disagree with how I’ve laid things out. This was not meant to be 100% exhaustive, nor was it meant to be indicative of what one of our portfolios looks like.
Phil Huber, Chief Investment Officer
For more of the lessons that can be derived from this clever periodic table of investments, we suggest checking out the original post on Huber’s blog.
Is there anything that he missed, or that you think could be classified better?
Here’s How to Become a 401(k) Millionaire
Millionaires are more common than you may think – here are the steps you need to take with your retirement investments to become a 401(k) millionaire.
Here’s How to Become a 401(k) Millionaire
There’s nothing more definitive in the journey to financial freedom than hitting the $1 million mark in retirement savings.
A nest egg like that is a near-guarantee that you could surmount any curveball the world throws at you, whether it is an unexpected family emergency or anything else.
While $1 million certainly sounds like a lofty milestone to many, it’s actually quite a common achievement:
- Millionaire households in the U.S.: 11.3 million (8.95%)
- Total households in the U.S.: 126.2 million
And contrary to popular belief, to become a 401(k) millionaire, you don’t need to strike it rich with a lucky stock pick, or use a crystal ball to forecast the future of the market.
Your best bet is to simply focus only on the factors you can control.
What You Can Control
Today’s infographic is from Tony Robbins, and it covers key points from his #1 Best Selling book Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook, which is now available on paperback.
It shows that the biggest winners in the financial game know that they can’t predict the future, and instead titans like Warren Buffett or Jack Bogle focus intently on the factors they can control, knowing that with the right approach they’ll thrive in almost any market.
What are these crucial factors?
|Time||The force of compound interest is more powerful over longer periods of time.|
|Discipline||Staying calm and focused on the long term during periods of turmoil is key.|
|Diversification||Proper asset allocation and frequent re-balancing can position you to weather any storm.|
|Expenses||Expenses and taxes are silent killers, and must be minimized strategically.|
By diligently working to take control of these four factors, your odds of attaining financial freedom are extremely high. Here is each factor in more depth.
The power of compound interest is extraordinary, making time your best friend when it comes to building a battle chest of retirement savings.
The current maximum contribution limit for 401(k)s is $18,500 per year, not including what is matched by your employer. If you maxed out on contributions and started investing early, you can hit $1 million before retirement even in sub-optimal market conditions:
|Starting age||Required returns for $1 million at age 65|
Time can make up for a lack of investing acumen. Wait until later, and things get very difficult – by age 50, you need market beating returns!
If you’re taking advantage of the power of compound interest over a long period of time, whether that is 20, 30, or 40 years, it is inevitable that there will be bumps in the road:
- Stock market corrections happen once a year, on average
- Bear markets happen once in every 3-5 years, on average
- Bear markets vary in length, but on average last one year
Through decades of investing, the fact is you are going to see bear markets – it is how you handle them that counts.
Even when it’s the most tempting to sell, remember these facts:
- Bear markets become bull markets
- The first 12 months of a new bull market can see crucial market gains
- Nobody can successfully time the market – not even the experts
In other words, having the discipline to hold through the turbulence can be the difference maker – and a key factor you can control in your journey to becoming a 401(k) millionaire.
Another factor you control is portfolio diversification, and here are four ways diversification can minimize risk:
|Assets||Stocks, bonds, and alternative assets like real estate or gold.|
|Sectors||Consumer goods, tech, energy, financials, etc.|
|Markets||Domestic, international, emerging markets|
|Time||Add to investments regularly, because there is never a “right” time to buy|
A properly designed portfolio can weather any storm, and re-balancing it on a regular basis will force you to sell assets at market highs, while buying at low points.
The fees on your 401(k) statement might not seem like much, but even 1% or 2% can make a big difference over the long term.
For example: the value of $1 compounding for 50 years at 5% will be worth $11.50, but if it averages 7% it will be worth $29.50. That’s almost three times more!
Expenses, both seen and hidden, can be a silent killer any portfolio, so keeping them to a necessary minimum can help you get to the promised land.
A Final Word
If becoming a 401(k) millionaire was easy, everyone could do it.
But to be successful, you need to take control over factors like time, diversification, discipline, and costs – ideally with a qualified and experienced financial advisor and partner. Then, you need to stick to the plan and let the market do its work.
Investing is a game of inches. If your returns improve by, say, 2 or 3 percentage points a year, the cumulative impact over decades is astounding, thanks to the power of compounding.
– Tony Robbins
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