Chances are, even if you had a million-dollar retirement portfolio back in August, you're starting to think you'll have to work for another decade just to retire with half that much now.
And if you had only saved a fraction of that, you're probably thinking you'll never stop working.
But you don't have to let the fiasco on Wall Street ruin your dreams for retirement or whisk away your fortune.
And if you read this report you won't have to scrimp and save your way through retirement either, cutting corners or taking odd jobs just to get by. No matter what's happened to your portfolio in the last few months, you can still retire with plenty of cash. Just read on...
By taking just a few minutes right now, you'll see how to pick strong-as-steel retirement investments that will hold up even better than the overall market (yes, even when the Dow drops 700 points in one day!) -- and then discover how to turn the tables on the Wall Street fat cats and start profiting from the panic -- right now.
First up, let's start with the best way to survive -- or better yet, thrive in a grizzly bear market like the one we've got right now: Sit tight.
That's right. Hibernate like all good bears and ignore the financial "awfulizing" on CNBC, Bloomberg and the rest. And, if you find you can't turn your head from the financial news, then at least make sure you don't sell the stocks you own.
How? Let's look at some history. Go back 58 years and you'll see that even the worst bear markets didn't see drops of 50%. So while we can't give you a guarantee that we've hit bottom, we can tell you based on history, given where the market is right now we're probably close to the bottom.
So if you start selling in a panic today -- chances are you're selling after you've already lost the greatest amount of money. And, unless you've got a really good crystal ball, you'll end up fighting your way back into the market the day after it posts the biggest gains.
Let's face it. With the market dropping hundreds of points daily right now you not only need ways to protect your money -- but a big way to bounce back! Rule Your Retirement has what your portfolio could use. Around here we call it:
The Magical Returns Accelerator. And this amazing secret shows you exactly how smart investors quadrupled their money -- even in the Great Depression!
Let’s be real. The Great Depression left millions of families poverty-stricken. It was perhaps the darkest time in America’s history.
But what many of today's panicked investors don't realize is that there were lots of people who not only made money during this time -- but made MORE MONEY because of the steep decline. Here's what happened.
On September 3, 1929, the Dow Jones Industrial Average peaked at 381.17 -- and it didn't rise above this level for another 25 years -- on Nov. 24, 1954. That's a quarter century of zero price appreciation.
So how could anyone make money? By reinvesting their dividends. Smart investors who did this actually turned $1,000 into $4,400 (based on their 6% annualized rate of return) -- more than quadrupling their money!
That's right -- the steep decline actually fueled their investments, because their reinvested dividends were able to buy more stocks for less. As Jeremy Siegel wrote in The Future for Investors: "During the Depression, long-term investors gained at the expense of all those who were forced to sell their stock, either because they had purchased their stocks with borrowed money or, more commonly, because they dumped their shares in a panic."
If you can hold stocks for the long term, you can take advantage of reinvested dividends, aka Jeremy Siegel's returns accelerator! Want more portfolio-padding ideas like this one? Start your 30-day risk-free trial to Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement today.
Now you know how the smartest investors not only survived the Great Depression -- but actually thrived because of it. And that's just one of the secrets from the Rule Your Retirement vaults. Start your totally risk-free membership to Rule Your Retirement today and you'll uncover loads of money-making advice, including how walking away from the number one American investment can actually increase your returns and lower your risk.
Here's how they did it -- and you can too. Even if you're years away from retirement you've probably heard the old adage, "Allocation is key." Where you put your money -- large caps, small caps, bonds, etc. is the real indicator of just how much cash you'll have for retirement.
And you've probably heard that diversification is a great way to protect your portfolio from market downturns like those we've witnessed in the last few months. But did you know just how much money a well-diversified portfolio can make you?
Let's check on my friends Jack, Bill, and Jill. Jack took $1,000 and invested it in U.S. Stocks. Bill took $1,000 and spread it out a little more by putting half into U.S. stocks and half into international stocks. Jill lowered her investment risk (based on a lower standard deviation) by splitting her $1,000 investment across 4 asset classes (U.S. stocks, international stocks, REITs, and commodities).
So who came out ahead? Run their portfolios from 1972 to 2007 -- and you'll see that Jack ends up with $45,500, Bill has about 10% more than Jack with $50,015, but Jill ends up with $87,310 -- nearly twice as much as Jack!
Want to add $87,310 to your portfolio? Then start your completely risk-free trial of Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement today and check out the Perfect Your Portfolio section of our December 2007 issue.
And that's not all you'll find. Just by activating your completely risk-free trial to Rule Your Retirement you'll have access to every newsletter and special report we've ever published. Turn to any page, any issue and discover things like:
Just look at all you're learning, and I haven't even told you yet how you can actually add over $263,000 to your portfolio without contributing another dime.
But before I get to that, I want to make sure you get yourself set up right now to make a bundle of money when the market recovers.
Because if you don't already know this one, chances are you'll overlook it simply because it relies on the fact that you know to buy the asset class with the very worst returns.
This little gem comes from an interview (yes, you'll find exclusive advice from experts in every issue of Rule Your Retirement under Expert Corner) with William Bernstein, an asset manager, neurologist, pilot, and author.
When I asked him what the best place for your money is right now -- with all the major indexes down 20% or so, he told me to "buy the asset class that has had the very worst recent returns."
Just in case you're thinking that must be some crazy typo -- why would you ever want to get in on a "losing deal"? -- let me explain. If you chase after the investment vehicles that have just enjoyed a great run, you'll be buying when they're most expensive, and chances are -- on their way down.
Right now if you want to put yourself in a position to profit from the market's downturn -- buy equities. On page 4 of the October issue we'll show you the types of stocks that will help you outperform the market.
Where does all this unconventional retirement wisdom that fills the pages of every issue of Rule Your Retirement come from? Straight from the experts at The Motley Fool, which Barron's calls the #1 source for financial education on the Web" and The Economist refers to as "an ethical oasis in an area that is fast becoming a home to charlatans."
And of course, from one of the smartest retirement advisors around -- Robert Brokamp, your fearless advisor of Rule Your Retirement.
Before joining the Motley Fool staff, Robert (Bro, as we call him around the office) was a financial advisor at Prudential Securities. For years he spent his days researching the latest money-building retirement strategies, money-saving tax loopholes and more to help ensure his clients enjoyed their golden years.
Though he worked with some excellent people, he wasn't satisfied because as a financial advisor working for a specific company, he was limited to selling what the company offered.
So ten years ago he left Prudential and became a first class "Fool", which led to him founding The Motley Fool's Rule Your Retirement where he combines his love of teaching (he actually has a teaching degree and taught English for several years) and his vast inside knowledge of retirement planning, to bring you the most up-to-date, investment strategies around.
Bro is a true retirement expert. Not only has he written breakthrough articles on fool.com and for renowned publications like Better Investing and Newsweek, but he's also authored (or co-authored) 4 top-selling books, and he recently gave a speech at the Securities and Exchange Commission that was broadcast on C-SPAN.
In addition to Bro’s qualified advice, Rule Your Retirement brings you tips from the likes of Roger Ibbotson, Burton Malkiel, and even David Gardner -- investors whose knowledge we tap on a daily basis to ensure that you get the best possible retirement advice available.
And the most exciting part…you won’t have to risk a dime to get inside.
In fact, you can read every issue of Rule Your Retirement, (that's over 50 issues from July 2004 up through today) access the dozens of special reports we've written on everything from 8 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement to How to Give Your Retirement Plan an Annual Check Up and so much more -- absolutely Risk-FREE for the next 30 days.
You'll see how amazingly easy it is to:
Rule Your Retirement is the best place for objective, winning investment advice. We're not beholden to Wall Street. In fact, you get all the proven wisdom in Rule Your Retirement for less than it would cost you to meet with your accountant for an hour.
Best of all, you can sit down with us whenever you want -- no appointment necessary. You can even come in your pajamas if you'd like. And with Rule Your Retirement you'll learn things your accountant, broker, or financial advisor might never mention, like:
Now more than ever, with banks and financial institutions slipping away thanks to the credit crunch and subprime mortgage crisis, it's critical to understand the difference between a money market account and a money market fund.
The former is offered by a bank -- and, thus, FDIC insured -- right now up to $250,000 until December of 2009. Withdrawals are limited (generally, six per month, and no more than three checks written from the account). The money market fund is offered by financial-services organizations and is not FDIC insured. When your broker suggests these to you, you'll be wooed by yields higher than your bank's. But what you must understand is they're technically much riskier. They get their higher yields by taking on more risk.
Don't fall for it. If you need the safety and liquidity of a money market, go for a money market account. Beware of any "cash" account that offers significantly higher yields. It's either charging rock-bottom fees (i.e., Vanguard -- which is a good thing) or taking on extra risk that leaves your account open to failure.
Tips like these are just a taste of the knowledge Bro shares with members every day. You can give Rule Your Retirement a 30-day, risk-free trial right now (you don't risk a dime!) and you'll also see...
Okay. I wasn't going to tell you how to retire 15% richer just by making a phone call, but I couldn't resist. It's so perfectly simple, yet I'd bet 99% of the soon-to-retire population doesn't know it. It's called asset location -- and you'll find the step-by-step instructions for exactly how to cash in, right on page 1 of our special report, Smartest Way to Build Your Dream Retirement, during your risk-free trial of Rule Your Retirement.
Picture it -- without risking one dime -- you can retire 15% richer. And that's just one tip. There are literally hundreds more ways to pad your portfolio and boost your returns so you can live very, very well in retirement -- even if you haven't saved a dime as of today.
By spending just about 30 minutes a month you'll see how you can take control of your retirement and start building real wealth today -- no matter what's happening on Wall Street. We'll take you step-by-step through all the retirement lingo -- asset classes, fund loads, and international equities…all that stuff that sounds so overwhelming -- and help you make sense of it all so you can RULE your own retirement.
Why not take a look at Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement right now? If you're not thrilled with our Wall Street-beating advice, our portfolio-boosting, moneymaking strategies, simply let us know within 30 days and we'll refund every penny you paid. NO hassles. No questions asked. Guaranteed.
See, at The Motley Fool we have no hidden agenda. No proverbial tricks up our sleeves, we simply want to help you retire not only well, but seriously rich. That's why even if you only have time to skim our issues and special reports you'll find articles that show you:
If you want to know the stocks that have been beating the S&P for 51 years -- don't count on your broker to tell you. In fact, these stocks that have generated enormous amounts of income for in-the-know investors are virtually ignored by Wall Street, simply because they aren't glamorous.
What are they? Stocks with high-yielding dividends. You may be saying: I knew that. But did you know this? High-dividend paying stocks are safer and more reliable than stocks that rack up capital gains and all the Wall Street attention.
In fact, one financial expert said that for the 43 years from 1960 to 2003, dividends were far less volatile than earnings. In fact the standard deviation (a measure of volatility) of dividends was just 5% during this time compared to a huge 14% for earnings. So while earnings had wide swings with market fluctuation, these boring old companies kept dividend checks coming.
And dividend-yielding stocks are the best way to build real retirement wealth.
Here's how dividends can make you a fortune. Let's rewind to 1950, put $1,000 in your hand and let you choose between two solid stocks to invest in for the next five decades. Your first option is to invest in Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon) or International Business Machines, better known today as IBM. Over the next 53 years Standard Oil earned a compound average of 14.42% while IBM garnered 13.83% -- a difference of just 0.59 percentage points.
Before you choose your stock, I'll give you some added info. Oil stocks went from 20% to 5% of the overall market value between 1950 and 2000, while technology stocks soared from 3% to nearly 18%.
In spite of the soaring market value of tech stocks and the seemingly paltry difference between earnings -- Standard Oil was not only the better investment, you actually come out an astounding $300,000 ahead!
How can this happen? By reinvesting your dividends. You see, in the scenario above, IBM's share price actually grew more than three percentage points a year over Standard Oil's, but because Standard Oil had a higher annual dividend return -- 5.19% vs. 2.18% -- you end up with $300,000 more in cold, hard cash!
Investing in a variety of dividend-paying stocks makes sense also. In fact, if you had invested $1,000 back in December of 1957 in an S&P index fund, you'd have $130,768 by the end of 2003 -- an annual return rate of 11.19%.
But if you had taken that same $1,000 and invested it in the top 20% of dividend paying stocks each year, you'd have an astounding $462,750. That's 3 times the gains of the S&P 500!
And there are tax advantages to this, too because you get the needed income (the dividends) and growth (long-term capital gains) at tax rates lower than ordinary income.
These companies are stable and they pay out high dividends -- and they also have great returns. What's more, even in Wall Street's darkest hours, these stocks are beating the market over a 5-year period by an average 11.4 percentage points!
What are our 4 top picks for your retirement portfolio today? Just activate your 30-day risk-free trial subscription to Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement today. Go to our Online Exclusives and click on the Special Report link for Four Great Investments for Your Retirement.
You can read every word. Take us up on our advice, make a bundle and then cancel within 30 days and get every penny of your money back. This is a completely risk-free offer. But I don't think you'll want to cancel when you see just how much money you can make, save, and protect with Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement on your side.
Every issue makes it easy for you to understand exactly how to take control of your retirement. We'll show you how to patch the cracks in your nest egg that could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars... We'll show you how to jump-start your portfolio to rebound from the fiasco on Wall Street... And if you're already retired, we'll bring you dozens of ways to generate income -- without moving from your couch.
And you get it all in 30, easy-to-read minutes a month. To get this kind of advice from your broker, financial planner or accountant you'd pay hundreds if not thousands in fees and commissions. And you'd be lucky to get advice this thorough -- or this fair and objective.
But with Rule Your Retirement we'll show you step-by-step how you can enjoy the retirement of your dreams for just $8.25 a month. And we'll make it fun, too.
While brokers and advisors tend to run through numbers and supply you with thick reports loaded with financial mumbo jumbo, we bring you straight-forward, easy-to-understand advice and action plans with a healthy dose of "Foolish" humor.
When you follow the advice in Rule Your Retirement (instead of letting others make rules that affect your retirement) you're virtually guaranteed to come out happier and more successful than ever before.
Maybe that's why nearly 5 million users turn to The Motley Fool for expert financial advice…or why former SEC Chairman, Arthur Leavitt says, "The Motley Fool is the organization that best represents the interests of individual investors."
The simple truth is there are very few publications out there, and very few advisors, who call the shots as plainly as Rule Your Retirement.
We review the data, crunch the numbers and then spill the truth. We warn you about the little known traps that can cost you a fortune, like:
With Rule Your Retirement you get the expertise of Robert Brokamp, Motley Fool co-founders Tom and David Gardner, the experts we interview each month, and of course the tens of thousands of members who read, review, and answer questions on our discussion boards.
When you activate your 30-day, risk-free trial to Rule Your Retirement today you have instant access to every issue, every special report, our easy, retirement calculators and every subscriber on our boards. You can post any retirement question you'd like on our discussion boards from what's the most rewarding volunteer job for your golden years to how to keep your Social Security income from getting killed by taxes.
If you want the best retirement advice... if you want proven strategies for coming out on the bull side of the bear market then take a look at Rule Your Retirement now. It's the best bargain in investing at just $8.25 a month.
Where else can a few clicks of your mouse bring you...
You'll even uncover one way to ensure you've got a guaranteed income for the rest of your life... one that helps protect your portfolio and deals you a big fat check that shows up in your mailbox, even if the S&P drops 30%, inflation soars, and you live to be 120.
Add an annuity to your portfolio mix. Page 2 of the October issue of Rule Your Retirement can help you decide if an annuity is right for you, and if it is, we’ll tell you the best way to set it up. But here's a quick look at the beauty of an income annuity.
Let's say your portfolio is 60% stocks, 30% bonds, and 10% cash (a traditional "growth" portfolio). You've got a 12.6% chance of running out of money after 30 years, if your initial withdrawal rate is the standard 4.5%.
Switch things up, so 25% of your portfolio is used to purchase an income annuity, and you drop your risk of running out of money to 7.8%. Go wild and annuitize 50% of your portfolio and your chances of going bust drop to just 3.3%.
Wait a minute you say, don't annuities lower your return? Yes and no. On average the answer is yes. But if you've looked at the news lately, you know we’re witnessing unprecedented events in the market.
And that’s why you should be holding to a rock-solid strategy -- like the one I’m about to reveal to you…
The best way to offset low returns in a down market is with a widely diversified portfolio, and even an income annuity that doesn't rely on the market's returns.
And now, here's what I think is one of the most incredible insights we've uncovered at Rule Your Retirement.
And let's face it, right now, after the pounding Wall Street's taken, adding to your portfolio is critical. If you're like most investors, you probably know that you're supposed to rebalance your portfolio every year. If you don't your portfolio will end up out of shape, unbalanced or weighted too heavily in one asset class while seriously lacking in another.
At least that's what we've been told for years by most financial experts. But here at The Motley Fool we question authority. We re-examine traditional wisdom, and look for the exception that can break even the most golden rules, like "Rebalance thy portfolio every year." So in true "Foolish" fashion we decided to run the numbers and see for ourselves (and of course for your benefit) just how helpful it is to rebalance every year.
What we found even shocked us!
We started with an $8,000 portfolio that was evenly divided, with $2,000 in each of the following categories: large caps, small caps, real estate investment trusts, and international stocks. And investing as smart savers would, we continued to contribute to our portfolio every year for 30 years -- from 1976 to 2006. Each year we added another $2,000, adjusted for inflation. In the end, we racked up a very respectable $1,572,911 -- all without ever rebalancing our portfolio.
Next we toed the line and followed traditional Wall Street wisdom and rebalanced our little nest egg every year... making sure we maintained a strict 25% balance in each of our four asset classes. The result? We added a nice 6% gain to our bottom line. Not bad.
That's an extra $94,973 you would have missed out on if you just let the chips fall where they may... But here's where it gets really interesting.
It turns out that rebalancing your portfolio every year might be too often. You see, hot-performing asset classes tend to continue to outperform... at least for a while. If you rebalance your portfolio too often, those winners never have a chance to run.
Or, as Foolish favorite William Bernstein wrote at EfficientFrontier.com, "There is overwhelming evidence that there is short-term persistence in asset class returns, so it is a good idea not to be so hasty pulling the trigger."
So we decided to wait three years before rebalancing our nest egg. Bingo! We more than doubled our "rebalancing bonus," from 6% to a whopping 16.7%.
What does this mean for you? By rebalancing your retirement portfolio every three years instead of every year, you could add an extra $168,334 to your bottom line.
And if you've never rebalanced your portfolio, you could add a whopping $263,317 just by doing this simple exercise every three years. All without forking over another dime.
That's over a quarter million dollars and you didn't have to kick in one extra dime to get it! Just imagine what you could do with an extra $263,397 to spend in your retirement.
Now, one note of caution: If you're already retired, rebalancing every year is a bad idea, because it could actually reduce your returns. But swearing off rebalancing completely can have dangerous consequences, too. We tell you exactly what to do instead in the August 2007 issue of Rule Your Retirement.
You can read the August issue, plus gain instant access to the entire information-packed library of Rule Your Retirement archives, including all past issues (July '04 through today) 9 special reports, our 10 favorite calculators, model portfolios, how-to guides, plus FREE access to our discussion boards where you can read what other "retirement rulers" are talking about and even post your own burning questions, plus so much more! And it's all yours to tool around on, read, review and use risk-free for 30 days when you activate your membership in Rule Your Retirement today.
Act now, and you'll SAVE $50 off the regular membership fee.
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Remember, with both the free trial and a year’s subscription, you get unlimited access to every single thing on our website. Including Robert Brokamp’s all-new, 5-part series which walks you through the most important steps for ruling your retirement. Bro’s point-by-point instruction takes only a few minutes to watch and reveals retirement ideas you’ll use to increase your after-tax wealth by no less than 15%!
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