In late October, 2007, I began transferring funds from my company's retirement account to a rollover IRA account. Since the first amount transferred was cash, I was planning with my financial advisor on the investment options. My personal preference is to try to time the market short term, especially since the market was declining slightly at the time. I asked would it be better to wait a while before investing the funds. My financial advisor, as always, said he didn't make recommendations on when to invest, saying what he did know is that historical return shows the stock market has been higher ten years from any point. I thought for a moment and told him to invest the entire amount.
As it turns out, the market did decline further to a 10% market correction on November 26, 2007. The funds I had invested were down about 7%. Since I won't need the funds for at least ten years, I remembered my advisor's comment and didn't worry. I kept thinking that any short term fluctuation doesn't really matter. What matters is the value 10+ years from today. Therefore, I stayed calm and didn't sell out at a loss.
Today, the retirement account investments managed by my financial advisor are at almost break even after fees, i.e. the value when it was first invested in October, 2007. While break even is not the long term goal, it's a lot better than -5 to -7% if I had sold in the short term. Also, since I expect to a conservative 7% gain annually, being break even after 1-2 months is acceptable.
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This is not financial or investment advice. Please consult a professional advisor.