We had some new friends over for dinner on Saturday night and I, of course, got lots of questions about how we retired before we turned 50. The husband figured that I made some amazingly, lucky investment that paid out like we had won the lottery.
He asked what our special investing strategy was and I told him I pretty much just invest in S&P 500 Index Funds, which carry low management fees and generally beat most managed funds. He seemed surprised I wasn’t a day trader of some sort and I told him I don’t believe I am smart enough for that.
The conversation reminded me of the Callan Periodic Investment Table that I posted the most up-to-date version of above. It looks at different investment options and how they stack up year after year. I first saw a copy of this about 10 years ago. While I find it very interesting to look at, I’ve never drawn any useful insights from it!
I find the investment media is full of charts like these – they look useful (and are very precise) – but don’t really say anything about where the market is heading. (TIME magazine headlined this table “The One Investment Chart That Will Help You Retire Richer”). Really?!
In fact, the more I look at it, the less I feel like I know anything about how to allocate our nest egg. Investment options that do well, suddenly fall. Investments that do poorly suddenly rise. Or, neither of these things happen.
Why am I even sharing it here? I thought you all might also find it interesting (or at least colorful) and I am hoping someone will crack the code of what seems to be a random pattern! Anyone? 😉