Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Back to long-term money thinking.....

I have started to come back around and think about the long term investment outlook a bit. I was talking to my financial advisor and he made a comment that perked my ears up.

He noted that the market was still going up. It initially perked my ears up because I had just decided to go from a 70%-30% equity to bond portfolio to a 50%-50% mix.

I perked up because I thought I was making a mistake, and I guess I looked worried to him because he instantly shot back and said "This is when I start to get worried about the market. When everyone in the world thinks it's hot is when I start to worry that it is at some sort of a top." (which made me feel better)

But let me not give you the wrong impression....I am not a market timer. At least not with the majority of our money. (I have a very small amount that I had initially had in Vonage stock that I have since moved into two Chinese telecom stocks....but even that money has been sitting there inactive.....and I have no idea how that is doing!)

I am certainly more of a buy-and-hold person. I think I made one rebalance in the portfolio in the past year....and I went from about 60%-40% up to the 70%-30% I mentioned above......and just a couple of weeks ago down.

I guess I have been a bit pessimistic for the past year, but the markets seem to continue to be fairly strong. (except the housing market that is)

So I'm starting to get re-energized about thinking long term again.

Here are a few online calculators to help you think about the long term affects of interest and money growth.

First, this one I find interesting because it lets me easily calculate what a million bucks in 1980 (when I graduated College and dreamed of such things) is today. (how much I need to have to have the buying power of a millinaire in 1980)

Then this Yahoo calculator lets me type in my current financial situation, play with projected interest and load rates, and calculate my worth in future years. (in net and constant value dollars) That is a lot of fun because it gets me charged about about saving and long term growth.

Of course, being the visual person that I am, I love to look at this online graphing program that lets me watch money growth of particular situations. You pick all ins and outs of your investment and expense money flow and it graphs the growth....albeit with a static year to year model. (such is life....no model is perfect)

So I guess I suggest that you start playing with these tools and put yourself in a mindset of Rip Van Winkle awakening from a nap in 10 or 20 years.....then put your investment on autopilot until then. (doing an analysis and perhaps rebalancing every 6 to 12 months)

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Theirs to many short term traders.

3:36 PM EDT  

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