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Investing in the Stock Market Sensibly - A Must for the Individual Who Wishes to be Prepared for Retirement

As one who grew up in an era in which interest rates and inflation were often high, I could never have imagined that today, a major bank would take out a half-page advertisement boasting of a Certificate of Deposit that returns seven tenths of a per cent on a minimum $1000 investment.  This translates to an individual going to the bank with $1000 and coming away a year from now with $1007!  The cost of traveling to and from the bank to initiate the certificate will equal the one-year investment return for many!
The low interest rate phenomenon currently being experienced in our country is courtesy of the Federal Reserve Board, which seeks to stimulate the economy and borrowing by artificially keeping rates low indefinitely. The pathetic rate of return on "safe" investments is bemoaned by many, including seniors who are looking for income, and it also serves to demonstrate why one must always have some of their money in the stock market, not in highly speculative, risky companies or funds, but in stock index funds whose cost of transaction is low and which are highly diversified, providing some protection from downturns in the economy.

One fund in which I significantly invested both for retirement and non-retirement purposes (Janus Global Life Sciences Fund) returned a staggering 55.84% in 2013, far outpacing the Standard and Poor's 500 Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average.  That whopping gain, of course, cannot be expected every year, but this fund boasts an average annual return of 10.98% per year since its inception in 1998, which also is spectacular, given that many of those years were within a near-Depression. Those that are in the 15% tax bracket enjoy the benefit of no tax liability for capital gains when stock is sold at a profit.  
Those who cite the risk of being invested in the stock market, shying away from it, are also engaging in risk, that they will outlive their money.  There are sensible ways to invest.  It is a critical component for the individual that wishes to maintain their lifestyle in retirement.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tom January 02, 2014 at 07:56 PM
The longer you REMAIN in the market the lower the risk. The 80 year average return on the S&P is over 8 percent. Warren Buffet is the guru in this area, buy only what you understand and believe in and hold it for a long long time. The approach enabled him to become the second richest person in America. Oren's advice re retirement and the need to be in the market could not be more on.
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