by Daniel Prince, CFA, U.S. Head of iShares Core ETFs , Blackrock
Time spent in the market is important – asset allocation ETFs can help.
- Waiting for the “right time to invest” may mean missing key market moments
- iShares asset allocation ETFs make it possible to invest in a diversified portfolio with as little as one share
- These ETFs may be worth considering when you have cash ready to invest
This “analysis paralysis” could leave investors on the sidelines during important market moments, potentially missing out on future growth.
Missing top-performing days can hurt your return
Diligent investors naturally spend a lot of time researching different ideas and choosing the vehicle that may be best for their financial goals. While considering different investments is important, you may also want to focus your energy on ensuring you’re positioned to invest your excess capital to capture market growth over time.
There may be a downside to waiting.
If your U.S. equity investments missed the 5 best performing days over the last 20 years, your portfolio could have lost nearly a third of its potential value. As shown in this illustration, if you were unfortunate enough to miss the 25 of the S&P 500’s best days, you’d have less money than you started with. Here, you can think of the market like a well-known arena rock band: it’s the “big hits” that make the crowd go home happy.
Hypothetical investment of $10,000 in the S&P 500 index over the last 20 years (2000 to 2020)
Time is a valuable asset
Taking decisive action may provide long-term benefits as well. Consider two hypothetical investors with 30 years until retirement. For the first 15 years, Investor A contributes $1,000 every year then watches it grow. Investor B does not start investing until 15 years later but contributes a larger sum of $3,000 each year until year 30. Assuming both investors earn 10% each year, investor B contributes 3 times as much but ends up with almost $40,000 less. Both investors build themselves a better financial future, but being decisive and starting sooner gives investor A an edge.
Hypothetical growth assuming a 10% annual return
Time in the market is more important than timing the market
For most individual investors, the thought of losing money is scary. So, it is natural to worry whether now is the best time to invest. Nobody wants to invest right before the next downturn, but even if a hypothetical investor had the misfortune of investing in U.S. stocks at their peak before past market crises, they would likely have realized growth if they stayed invested for the long-term.
What if you invested right before a market crash?
- For investors who seek broad market exposure, the iShares Core ETF Portfolio suite can help you tune out the market noise and maintain a long-term focus.
- For investors who seek sustainable investment, the iShares ESG ETF Portfolio suite can help you achieve both your investment goals and sustainability objectives.
These low-cost vehicles may be easy ways for investors to maximize their “time in the market” while continuing to research additional solutions that work for them.