In the midst of every bear market, financial publications seem to roll out these types of articles like clockwork. Here are the key fragments from the article:
If you're a retail investor, reading these types of articles quickly gets old because it's simply NOT HOW INVESTING LIFE IS LIVED.
Few receive a massive lump sum of money, have the misfortune of investing all of it at the very peak of the market ... and then have no money to invest after that.
The vast majority of us have jobs, diligently spend less than we earn, and invest the savings.
This means we invest over time. Sometimes we happen to invest at the peak of the market, sometimes at the trough.
One of the conclusions of the article is "the long term doesn’t always work out". The long-term is sure as hell more likely to work out better for us than the short-term. The short-term is a crap-shoot because we're battling market noise and volatility. The long-term nullifies that.
Here's another statement intended to be a gotcha: "Far from being unique, the Nasdaq’s disappointing return over the past 23 years serves as a powerful reminder that the stock market doesn’t always go up". The only thing a retail investor should conclude from this statement is they had better get busy dollar cost averaging. You'll make good profits on the money you happen to invest at the trough of the cycle.
This might seem like a rage against author Mark Hulbert, but that's not my intention. We've heard Mark speak at the AAII Conference. His talk was excellent and he has a lot of good wisdom to impart. But every once in a while, he rolls out articles like this which aren't constructive at all to a retail investor.
It's a hit piece that presents a surface-level problem, and then fails to offer any solution or mitigating strategy.
Investors who read articles like this and find themselves hesitant to invest should heed the advice from legendary investor Peter Lynch:
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections, or trying to anticipate corrections, than has been lost in corrections themselves"
If you're a wage and salary earner with a desire to achieve financial freedom, your best bet is to get busy investing.