Time in the market beats timing the market
Think you’re too young to start saving for retirement? Think again.
When’s the best time to invest? Some people say it’s when the market is low. For others, it’s when they have money to spare after a pay raise, an inheritance, or a big tax refund. But Associate Portfolio Manager Apurva Parashar from Alitis Investment Counsel recommends a different strategy.
“As Portfolio Managers, we always champion the idea of ‘time in the market’ over trying to ‘time the market,’” she says. That means the best time to invest is as early as you can, even if it’s only a small amount.
People in their 20s, 30s and 40s often overlook retirement planning — other expenses may feel more urgent, and many people assume they’ll have more time and money later. But there are two major benefits to start saving early. First, you’ll form good financial habits. Second, you’ll see dramatic benefits from compounding interest.
“Compound interest on long term investments means you are earning interest on your principal investment and also on previous interest — you can think of this as ‘interest on interest.’ It means that even small investments can grow significantly if given enough time,” says Harrison Brown, also an Associate Portfolio Manager at Alitis.
This table shows how a monthly investment of $250 with an average positive return of +0.5% per month (approximately 6 per cent per year) grows over time. Starting at age 20 results in a portfolio close to $500,000 by age 60. Deferring to age 30 results in a portfolio at about $250,000, or roughly half the total.
To look at compounding interest in a different way, consider a person at a range of ages, all with the goal of a $1 million portfolio. If you started investing at age 20 you would only need to invest roughly $500 per month to achieve this goal. Looking at ages 30,40 and 50, we see that the monthly contributions exponentially increase as a person defers investing for later.
The benefits of investing a small amount on a regular basis
- Build good habits. “My clients who’ve stuck with this system for decades gradually changed their saving and spending habits. Even with a $2 million portfolio, they keep those good habits in place,” Parashar says.
- Take the emotion out of investing. “When you make monthly contributions, you’ll catch the highs and lows of the market, and if you stick with the process, you’ll reach your investment goals. It is a concept called dollar cost averaging,” Brown says.
You may have friends or co-workers who are proud to invest independently — and they’re probably proud of their low fees. But low fees are only part of the story.
“The difference between high and low fees is usually only a fraction of a percent, which isn’t significant when your return is seven to 10 per cent. A Portfolio Manager brings a lot of extra value, and not just in your investments’ performance,” says Brown, who volunteers with the Junior Achievement program, teaching young people financial literacy.
“We pride ourselves on being approachable,” Parashar says. “Rather than having to fight through an automated voice machine, when you call us, you will speak to an actual person.”
Turnover rates within the financial industry, including banks, have historically experienced relatively high turnover rates compared to other sectors which can be attributed to factors such as limited growth opportunities, bureaucratic structures, or restricted product offerings.
That’s not the case with Portfolio Managers at Alitis. Not only is Alitis an employee-owned, Vancouver Island based firm, but many team members have advanced their careers at Alitis from working as Client Service Administrators and Wealth Service Coordinators to becoming Associate Portfolio Managers and Portfolio Managers. Expanding their skillset through various designations such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), and Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) demonstrates their commitment to their clients and to Alitis’ investment philosophy and process.
“Portfolio Managers will take the time to understand your unique situation, family, and risk tolerance and use that information to guide you to help you focus on your long-term goals,” says Brown.
Contact Us Today
Schedule a no-obligation, complimentary meeting with a Portfolio Manager today. Find Alitis Investment Counsel in Campbell River at 101-909 Island Highway, in the Comox Valley at 103-695 Aspen Rd., in Victoria at 1480 Fort St., and online at alitis.ca. For more information, call 250-287-4933 or email email@example.com.