Posted September 09, 2021
By Zach Scheidt
Don't Let the Market Discourage You
I'm feeling a little bit discouraged this week and maybe a little frustrated with myself.
Have you ever felt that way?
Maybe you set a goal for yourself and didn't quite make it happen...
Or maybe you thought you'd be in a different place this year financially, with your career, in your relationships or maybe with your health...
This past weekend, I was supposed to be out of town for the Labor Day weekend. I planned to run my first 50-mile trail race and cross off another challenge on my bucket list.
But about three weeks ago, I found myself on the back-side of Kennesaw Mountain — in a local National Park — about to pass out.
That's when I knew for sure I wasn't in shape to run the 50-mile race and I decided to cancel my trip.
I'm frustrated... But I'll get over it.
After all, I've got so much to be grateful for and it's important to me to keep that in perspective.
But the experience had me thinking about you... Because on the road to (and through) retirement, there can be some discouraging seasons.
And today, I wanted to share a few of the lessons I've learned (in markets and my training) to help both of us rise above those challenging days.
The Frustration of Feeling Behind
One of the things I often hear from our Rich Retirement Letter readers is that a lot of them haven't saved as much as they would like — or they’re not building their wealth as quickly as they hoped.
It can be discouraging to look at your retirement savings and simply not have enough to enjoy the Rich Retirement you had hoped for.
This can be true whether you're already retired or saving and investing to retire in the future.
I often hear questions like, "How do I double my money quickly?" or, "What are some aggressive strategies I can use to catch up?"
Even worse, I'll routinely hear from readers who made aggressive bets in the market, real estate or private business ventures and come up short.
It can be demoralizing to work hard, research an opportunity thoroughly and invest a large portion of your wealth only to see your hard-earned savings turn into losses.
Kind of like that afternoon in the 90-degree heat, struggling to make it up the mountain.
This week I had a talk with my good friend and coach Adam about my race and my frustration with not accomplishing my goal.
As we talked, I realized that a lot of the same advice he had for me also tied perfectly to our retirement investments!
Consistency Trumps Intensity... Every Time
"Zach, I see you're trying really hard... You go out to the mountain and spend hours running and climbing... But then you're wiped out for the next three days!"
Coach was right. Since I was training for a 50-mile race, I felt like I needed to get as many miles in as possible.
And on the weekends, I spent a lot of time in the 90-degree heat (and 90% humidity) trying to build endurance.
The problem was that with all of my enthusiasm, I was actually wearing my body down instead of building strength.
Can you see the parallel to an aggressive investment strategy?
If you put big chunks of your savings into aggressive (and often speculative) plays, it can be a lot like running for hours in the oppressive heat.
Instead of giving yourself a chance to succeed, you may be wearing down your retirement savings and causing more harm than good.
"Consistency trumps intensity, every time!" Coach told me as we rounded the corner on one of my favorite trails this week.
"I'd much rather you consistently work out for 60-90 minutes each day. That way, your body is learning endurance and you're not wearing yourself down so much."
This is exactly the way I'd encourage you to look at your investments!
Booking consistent profits from high-probability plays like the ones we talk about here at Rich Retirement Letter can be a much more reliable way to build your wealth.
Remember, as compound interest kicks in, you'll start making profits from the gains you already booked! And those compound profits lead to faster wealth building over time.
Now of course there is a place for aggressive investments as you build your retirement wealth. Just like there will be times for me to log hours on the trail when I train for my next big race.
But the aggressive trades (and the long grueling runs) should be sprinkled in sparingly so that they add benefits without quite so much risk.
Before I wrap up today, I wanted to briefly share a few of my favorite reliable plays that could help you consistently grow your wealth.
3 Consistent Investments That Can Help You Get Ahead
Companies that generate consistent profits and pay their investors reliable dividends can be some of the best wealth-building stocks for your retirement.
As profits grow and dividend payments increase, share prices for these stocks will naturally increase.
That's not to say there won't be days (or weeks or even quarters) when these stocks trade lower.
But if you invest in companies with consistent operations and profits, your wealth will grow over time and the day-to-day stock fluctuations won't be a big factor when you step back and look at your entire financial picture.
Procter & Gamble (PG) is one of those consistent companies that has been on my buy list for a long time. The company makes consumer products that are used in good times and bad. And it sells those products around the world.
Today, shares of PG are trading for about 23 times next year's earnings. They pay a 2.4% dividend yield and PG has a consistent (there's that word again) history of increasing its dividend.
The stock isn't exactly cheap at its current price, but I love investing in this name over time because of the company's reliable profits.
Another reliable company in a completely different area of the market is The Blackstone Group (BX).
As a private equity company, BX invests money for big clients like pensions and endowments. I love the business model because BX has three different ways to make money.
First, the company charges management fees for clients’ money it invests. Second, BX receives an incentive allocation (or percent of profits) when its customers' investments pay off. And third, BX can invest its own money alongside clients' funds.
Blackstone employs some of the sharpest minds on Wall Street and has generated consistent profits over time. It currently pays a 2.4% dividend yield which fluctuates based on the company's overall profits.
Finally, I'd suggest building a long-term position in Apple Inc. (AAPL). We're all aware of the company's iPhone, iPad and MacBook products.
And while those products still account for a large portion of the company's profits, AAPL is shifting gears to be more of a service company.
That means in the future, AAPL will rely more on subscription revenue from apps, profits from its App Store and other recurring payments from customers.
This is good news for investors because recurring revenue is much more reliable.
More importantly, these revenues leave AAPL with a growing cash balance that can be used for future dividend payments and share buybacks.
Of course, AAPL is trading near all-time highs right now and the stock could pull back sometime in the next year or two.
But over the long-term I expect the stock to continue to give investors consistent gains through reliable (and growing) dividends and also through a steadily higher share price.
There you have it... three consistent profit-generators that can help build "fitness" for your retirement.
And once you get a solid base of consistent investments, it's perfectly fine to invest a small portion of your accumulating wealth in more aggressive plays that can help super-charge your retirement.
Here's to living a Rich Retirement!
Editor, Rich Retirement Letter