The number one enemy of the long-term investor is the financial dragon called inflation (the silent but steady increase of prices over time).
Over the last 30 years (about the length of an average two-person retirement), inflation in the UK has resulted in an item costing £1 in 1991 now costing £1.84 in 2021. Your purchasing power has almost halved!
But £1 invested in the UK share market is worth £3.39 today, and that’s ignoring 30 years of dividends! And this during a three-decade period that included the dot-com bubble, the great financial crisis, and the Covid-19 pandemic.
And what did you have to do to earn this? Two (behavioral) things:
- Invest and stare out of the window (much harder than it sounds, as we’ve seen recently).
- Be willing to see your investment value decrease by about -15% on average every year without being panicked into selling. Think of the yearly declines as hurricanes, unpleasant but they pass.
Guiding you through these periods of volatility is why we exist.