Despite big changes in the stock market over the last half century, indexing is still the one sure way to get top returns, says investing pioneer Charles Ellis in an interview in MarketWatch.
Betting on passive investing is better than ever, with institutions dominating the market and engaging in rapid-fire trading. You’re also guaranteed to be in the top quartile if you use indexing, Ellis goes on to say in the interview. Average people shouldn’t really invest in active funds; instead, they should put their portfolios exclusively in index funds or ETFs.
One simple mistake Ellis says almost everyone makes is looking at their investment portfolio as though it was the whole picture, and it’s not. Most people have a home in addition to a securities portfolio, so there’s diversification and a stabilizer at the same time. And Social Security is the best annuity one can get. So whole-picture investing is more important than trying to beat the market, Ellis says. The market should only be a small fraction of all your assets so that everything else doesn’t go up and down when the market does.
Another piece of advice from Ellis is to know who you are as an investor and what makes you unique, and then to relate that unique set of circumstances to your portfolio. He also recommends having a one-time, fee-paid advisor to limit the number of mistakes that most investors make.
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