As an investor, your goal is to turn whatever money you have available today into more of it at some point in the future. While probably not enough to grow to a life-changing amount of money on its own, $5,000 can be a great foundation to start from on your path to a financially comfortable future.
Treating that money as a foundation upon which to build between now and retirement, you can focus on businesses you'd like to own between now and then. That long-term perspective can help you both build your wealth and more effectively ride the ups and downs that are part of what you need to expect when you invest in the market. With that in mind, if you've got $5,000, consider buying these two stocks with the intent to hold until retirement.
No. 1: It's virtually an economy on its own
Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A)(NYSE:BRK.B) is the company that Warren Buffett turned from a struggling textile manufacturer into one of the largest and most diversified companies in the world. The company's primary business line is insurance, but Buffett has amassed a collection of subsidiaries whose operations cross multiple industries that are core to our everyday life.
You want a place to live? Berkshire Hathaway can both manufacture a home and handle the brokerage services to sell it to you. How about clothes? Berkshire Hathaway has you covered from head to toe. Or food? While Berkshire Hathaway's food selections may not be the healthiest in the world, the company can feed you. Add in energy generation and transportation, goods transportation, and even people-moving solutions, and you've got most of the basics of an overall economy.
Even better, given that recent declines in consumer confidence might be predicting a rough patch ahead for the overall economy, Berkshire Hathaway has nearly $150 billion in cash on hand. Although Buffett often gets criticized for holding too much cash, such caution can be a huge benefit when times get tough.
That's a key reason a long-term perspective is so very important when thinking about owning a stake in Berkshire Hathaway The company is built to be solid and capable of thriving in even tough economic conditions. While that means it's likely to outperform the market during downturns, it also means it often trails the market during periods of rapid expansion.
As a result, Berskhire Hathaway just might be the kind of stock you'd rather buy, "forget" you own, and then wake up pleasantly surprised closer to retirement, when you recognize what it has done for you.
No. 2: A potentially better way to buy an index fund
The Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weighted ETF (NYSEMKT:RSP) invests in the same companies as other S&P 500 index funds do, but it owns them in different proportions. As the name suggests, the fund owns an approximately equal weighting across each of the companies in the S&P 500 index. That's different from a standard S&P 500 fund, which uses market capitalization to decide how much of each company in the index to own.
That difference in weighting enables the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weighted ETF to be a bit better diversified than a typical S&P 500 fund. Consider that the top 10 companies in a typical S&P 500 fund currently make up around 30% of the fund's total value, and you start to see the risk embedded in market-capitalization weighted funds. Major trouble at any one of those 10 companies can have a disproportionate impact on your overall investment and net worth.
Compare that with the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weighted ETF, where the top 10 holdings collectively make up less than 3% of the total fund. That's a far better balance of holdings, which means you're less exposed to the risk of any of the largest of those companies running into significant trouble.
In addition to that better diversification, the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weighted ETF has outperformed a popular market-cap-weighted S&P 500 ETF since the equal-weighted ETF launched. There are no guarantees that the equal-weighted version of the S&P 500 will continue to beat the market-cap-weighted version. Still, the fact that comparable performance is possible with clearly improved diversification makes the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weighted ETF worth consideration.
As a broad-based ETF, the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weighted ETF is a great choice for investors looking to buy with the intent to hold until retirement. After all, the S&P 500 will always hold around 500 stocks, and even if the index's composition changes, the fund will rebalance to reflect the new holdings for you. That automatic rebalancing helps make it the type investment that you can buy and then hold for the long haul as you build wealth between now and your retirement.
Investments worthy of owning for the long haul
Berkshire Hathaway and the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF offer different paths to a similar goal: a security you can buy today with the intent to hold on to until you retire. When it comes to successful long-term investing strategies, seeking to follow that philosophy is a path with a strong track record of success.
The thing about long-term investing, though, is that the sooner you get started, the sooner you might be able to reach the long-term benefits you're seeking to achieve. So make today the day you set out on your path, and let the next $5,000 you invest be money you sock away for those long term goals.