The Battle For Investment Survival

The Battle For Investment Survival

Article posted in Investing on 17 February 1999| comments
audience: National Publication | last updated: 18 May 2011
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Summary

In this issue of Gift Planner's Digest, Robert M. Balantine, chairman and chief executive officer of the Atlanta based investment firm which bears his name, offers some sage advice regarding investment strategies for planned gifts.

by Robert M. Balentine

Robert M. Balentine is chairman and chief executive officer of Balentine and Company, an Atlanta, Georgia-based investment advisory firm that manages over $3 billion for clients in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Balentine is a former executive of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith. He has been providing investment management services to clients for nearly 20 years. In addition to national speaking engagements, Balentine is frequently featured in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and on CNBC and CNN.

In 1979, Business Week ran its famous "The Death of Equities" cover story while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading at around 800. Since that time, the Dow has grown by over 1,000% in less than 20 years.

In March of 1991, USA Today reported that high unemployment and an out-of-control federal deficit were not symptoms of a short-term problem, but the permanent realities of a declining nation. At the same time, the Japanese market and economy were described as bulletproof and invincible. But in the first month of this year, the United States created more private-sector jobs than the entire continent of Europe has generated in the past 10 years. And as for Japan, it is in the midst of a financial crisis so severe that an entire region of the world economy--Asia--has been crippled.

Things are going very well in the United States. But after an unprecedented three consecutive years of index returns in excess of 30% for large U.S. stocks, can we reasonably expect more of the same? Remember--the long term, real (net of inflation) rate return for a U.S. large company stock is 6.5%. This overabundance of short-term returns is visible in almost every segment of the American equity market (large company and small company, growth and value). The risk premium for common stocks is not 20% per year. History says we should expect a reversion to the mean.

On the other hand, Alvin Toffler, and other noted futurists, claim that we are on the verge of a new era where anything is possible. Even some of Wall Street's most respected pundits have wondered aloud whether the traditional tools by which we use to measure markets are still valid. So, what should investors believe?

Harry Truman once said, "There is nothing new in the world, except the history you do not know." More recently, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Creenspan noted that "history is strewn with visions of such new eras' that, in the end, have proven to be a mirage."

In our business, the old adage that "the more things change, the more they stay the same" rings true on a daily basis. Although the times indeed are a-changin', an investment strategy that: 1) focuses on asset allocation; 2) operates with a global perspective; and 3) is rooted in long term goals and expectations will ultimately succeed--regardless of the direction of the markets.

Demographic Trends

Part of the recent phenomenal rise in the stock market is due to the most highly visible demographic trend in our society today: The aging of the population segment traditionally referred to as the baby-boomers (46-55-year-olds). We've all heard the analogy of the baby boomers moving through time like a pig passing through a boa constrictor.

In the United States, 10,000 people each day are turning 50. Consumer spending typically peaks at age 46, and as people mature, so do their spending habits. For the baby boomers entering retirement, they will spend less and save more, particularly given increased concerns that the Social Security system will fail to adequately provide the so-called "safety-net."

As a result, savings rates have increased dramatically, which in part explains the huge flow of money into mutual funds and subsequently, the unprecedented rise of U.S. stock markets (and also, the growing profitability of any number of financial services firms and mutual funds). This phenomenon will fuel continued growth in the stock and bond markets for many years to come, although we should expect corrections along the way.

All of this isn't to say that boomers will stop spending on consumption altogether--they'll just be more discriminating. Boomers will spend on travel and leisure, but not on clothing and accessories. Boomers will snap up consumer electronics and computers, but forget about the "conspicuous consumption" items that were the craze in the 80s. You can already see these trends in action now: Look at the successes of companies like Starbucks, Wyndham Hotels, Northwest Airlines, and Compaq.

Another less-heralded but equally amazing development is the fact that baby boomers are inheriting a significant asset base from their parents and grandparents. That's because the boomers are descendents of a generation that generated enormous capital in the post-war boom environment of the late 40s, 50s, and 60s: the so-called, "Bob Hope Generation."

To that point, a recent study by Robert Avery and Michael Rendall, Cornell University, estimated that an unimaginable $10.4 trillion in inheritances will change hands over the next 40 to 50 years. That's roughly $223 billion per year. Some estimates say the actual figures could even be twice the number estimated by the Cornell study.

Generation Y, with over $100 billion in annual spending power, also should not be overlooked. Generation Y's spending benefits branded products, selected retailers, entertainment companies, and yes, mall developers. Companies like Gap, PepsiCo, Planet Hollywood, Revlon, and so forth led the way.

Seniors spend heavily as well, almost exclusively on consumer health care products and services. Studies show that health care expenditures increase steadily as households get older (75-year-old+ households spend more money on health care than 65- to 74-year-old households), and the senior population is growing twice as fast as the overall U.S. population.

In the end, though, one thing is for sure, as long as consumers keep spending money, American corporations will continue to be profitable, and corporate earnings will increase.

Taking this all in, noted futurist and demographer Harry Dent proclaimed on the very first page of his landmark book, The Great Boom Ahead, "New forecasting tools tell of a coming era of prosperity with the Dow reaching as high as 8500." Of course, Dent sort of missed the mark. Writing in 1993, Dent predicted an 8500 Dow--only he thought it would take 15 years (2007) to get there. Now that Dent has had time to rethink, he's calling for a 21000 Dow in 15 years. Indeed, according to Dent, a great boom lies ahead.

The Importance of Asset Allocation

Investing isn't a 100-yard dash--it's a marathon. And there really is a method to the madness. For the large majority of portfolios, a long-term "buy-and-hold" strategy gives investors the greatest opportunity for long term success.

Yet, many investors allow market timing--often called the "fool's game" by investment professionals--to drive their investment strategies. In this age of instant information and access, markets are still unpredictable. Most investors are so consumed with avoiding volatility that they often withdraw from the market at the first hint of short-term loss. What many of these investors fail to realize, though, is that the failure to capture returns in a rising market is also a "loss."

Study after study demonstrates the folly of market timing. Several years ago, the University of Michigan examined the returns of the S&P 500 from 1982 through 1987. The data show that the annualized return for the period was a healthy 26.3%. But if you missed just the four best trading days during each year, the annualized return for the period dwindled to 4.3%. The Ibbotson Associates 1998 Yearbook provides an ever more sweeping historical illustration of the dangers of market timing. If you remove the 30 best performing months in the S&P 500--since 1926, 93% of the time--your investment return denigrates to that of a Treasury Bill. And as we know, net of taxes and inflation, the long-term return on cash is negative.

The antithesis of marketing timing is strategic asset allocation. Most investment professionals agree that the asset allocation process--the distribution of assets among stocks, bonds, and cash--has the most significant impact upon long term investment returns. Since different asset combinations, or "mixes," provide various risk and return alternatives, strategic and tactical asset allocation decisions will impact the performance of the entire portfolio. In fact, a study conducted by Brinson, Hood and Beebower found that nearly 92% of the variation in returns for pension funds was attributable to the asset allocation decision--not security selection, market timing, or any other factor.

It is important to understand that asset allocation is different from security selection. Asset allocation is the process of deciding what portions of your total assets to distribute among several broad asset classes. Security selection is the process of selecting the actual securities to purchase for each asset class. Choosing to invest 25% of your total assets in large-cap growth stocks is an asset allocation decision; conversely, choosing to purchase 1,000 shares of AT&T is a security selection decision.

Effective asset allocation diversifies your portfolio so that an optimal tradeoff between risk and return can be achieved. The role of the investment advisor is to create an asset allocation strategy based on the portfolio's time horizon, risk tolerance, and return expectations. Larger economic variables, such as short and long term strengths and weaknesses of various asset classes and global markets, are important considerations as well.

Evaluating Money Managers And Funds

The astounding rise of the U.S. markets in recent years has inflated investors' expectations of their managers and funds. A recent PaineWebber/Gallup poll of investors' attitudes highlighted a telling trend: Investors are looking at all the wrong things when evaluating investment performance. Of the more than 1,000 respondents, nearly 60% said they typically evaluate their total investment performance against one of the following:

  • the Dow Jones Industrial Average (a very narrow, U.S. large company stock index);

  • colleagues' and friends' investment returns; or

  • the returns their investments earned during the previous year.

Only 23% used a targeted percentage rate, and just 19% compared their investments with other investments in the same category (benchmarking).

In order to properly build and manage an investment portfolio, you must clearly define expectations, both for the overall portfolio, and for the individual managers and funds that comprise the portfolio. To measure the investment results of a given portfolio, common approaches include using a blended mix of benchmark indices (pegged to your underlying asset allocation), and/or establishing a desired annual percentage return above taxes and inflation.

Evaluating the individual managers and funds that manage those asset classes is a little trickier. As a starting point, keep in mind that each of the primary asset classes has a relative benchmark. Frequently used benchmarks include indices such as the Standard and Poor's 500 index (for large company U.S. stocks), the Russell 2,000 index (small company U.S. stocks), the Shearson-Lehman Government/Corporate Bond index (U.S. fixed income), Morgan Stanley's World Ex-U.S. index (international equity), and Morgan Stanley's Emerging Markets index (emerging international equity markets). Even within these groups, other indices exist that pinpoint niche areas, from U.S. small company value stocks (Russell 2000 Value index), to domestic mortgage bonds (Salomon Broad Mortgage Bond index), to Malaysian stock market returns (Morgan Stanley Malaysian Stock Return), and so on.

As you evaluate your manager, make sure that you are using a benchmark that is appropriate for the manager's style. For instance, your fixed income manager shouldn't be compared to the Standard and Poor's 500 index, nor should your international equity manager be compared to the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Failure to use relevant benchmarks will ultimately give you meaningless "apples-to-oranges" comparisons.

In addition to using relative benchmarks, take a look at the performance of the manager's peer group. For example, you might compare your U.S. large-cap stock manager to the average of all other U.S. large cap managers.

Keep in mind that it isn't necessary for your manager to be in the "top quartile" every quarter. Consider this study by the Frank Russell Company: In 1992, 60 managers composed the top quartile (top 25%) of U.S. equity managers. Out of those 60, only 30 remained in the top 25% the next year. Each successive year, more managers drop off the list to the point where in 1995--just three years later--only one of the original 60 managers had managed to stay in the top quartile three years running. In fact, some studies have shown that top-quartile managers are the ones most likely to be bottom-quartile managers as well, because they often take on more risk to achieve higher returns.

A good way to help "level the playing field" is to examine rolling (versus absolute) three-, five-, and 10-year returns. This helps filter out "hot" managers and funds that have a "track record" predicated on a single or small handful of very good quarters. What you want to look for are managers that are consistently in the upper range, over multiple time periods. Also, make sure that the individuals that have built the fund's track record are still the ones managing the fund.

Another consideration is this: Is your manager sticking to stated investment objectives? If your manager begins to stray from stated objectives, your asset allocation strategy will shift dramatically, and you might find yourself looking at volatility and returns (or lack thereof) that are far from what you expected. An oft-cited example is the Fidelity Magellan Fund. Magellan first started trading in 1963, and quickly built a reputation as the preeminent aggressive growth fund in the world. The fund had nearly 80% of its assets in the small-cap market throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

But Magellan began to veer off course in the middle-to-late 1980s. As new investors pumped more and more money into the now widely-popular fund, it became increasingly difficult for the fund to locate buying opportunities in small company stocks (as mutual funds can own only a limited percentage of any public company stock).

When manager Peter Lynch left the fund in 1990, Magellan began moving in an entirely different direction, increasing the fund's large company stock holdings and moving away from aggressive, small company growth stocks to the point that the fund has now completely turned into a large company, blue-chip stock fund. Moreover, it is no small coincidence that this metamorphosis has occurred simultaneously with one of the S&P 500's most significant rises ever. But the more ominous question is, what direction will the fund take if the S&P 500 begin to decline?

For instance, tomorrow morning you might read an advertisement in The Wall Street Journal for a S&P 500-index fund that proclaims (and with accuracy) a trailing one-year return of 45% and a three-year annualized return of 30%. Pretty staggering numbers, to be sure.

But turn the clock back to the beginning of 1995, just three short years ago. The one-year return of the S&P 500 at that point was 1.3%, the three-year return was 6.3% and the five-year return was 8.7%. All single-digit returns. The time frame that a manager or fund lists when quoting performance information is of the utmost importance. Don't be easily swayed by what's "hot" today.

In conclusion, consider this analogy from the world of sports. In 1997, a baseball player accumulated a .375 batting average during the month of September. Is he a good hitter? Well?he was in September 1997. But did he get 30 hits in 80 at-bats, or three hits in eight at-bats? If he is a 15-year veteran with a lifetime batting average of .236, and simply had a good month, is he still a good hitter? What if the player is a 'rookie" that got to a chance to play in the last two games of the season, collecting three hits in eight at-bats? Can you make firm projections about how he will perform next year? Over the next five years?

Hopefully, the parallels here to evaluating money managers and mutual funds is very clear. An outstanding quarter does not necessarily indicate an outstanding money manager or mutual funds (the reverse is also true). And just like in baseball, the long-term success of your portfolio won't come from the managers and funds that hit big occasionally but strike out frequently. Instead, it will come from the managers and funds that hit "singles" and "doubles" consistently, year in and year out.

The Global Economy

The Economist recently announced that "globalization" has emerged as the principal economic buzzword of the 1990s. Politicians and world leaders discuss the inescapable linkage among the interests of countries and regions. Corporations are selling their wares across national borders with increasing frequency, and bottom lines everywhere can be greatly impacted by events across the globe. Consumers, too, watch as the prices and availability of goods and services ebb and flow with developments in other, seemingly remote economies.

Hard to believe, but in 1975, North America accounted for two-thirds of the world's capital. Today, North America accounts for less than half of global capital--and that percentage is shrinking each year. What that means for investors is that by limiting a portfolio to only U.S. stocks, more than half of all of the equity in the world--and a plethora of investment opportunities--gets left by the wayside. For instance, an American only portfolio would skip over all 10 of the world's 10 largest construction and housing companies, all 10 of the world's 10 largest banking companies, eight of the world's 10 largest machinery and engineering companies, seven of the world's 10 largest chemical companies, and seven of the world's 10 largest automobile makers. It would also leave out global powerhouses like Toyota, Royal Dutch/Shell, Daimler-Benz, and companies with familiar American brands like Smith Kline Beecham (Aquafresh), and Grand Metropolitan (Burger King, Pillsbury).

But international markets are no longer a secret, and most investors have caught on to the importance of spreading assets around the world. Witness the remarkable growth of the global mutual fund industry during the past 10 years. U.S. fund managers alone now manage over $4 trillion in fund assets, while foreign firms like Group AXA, Union Bank of Switzerland, Credit Suisse, and Barclays Global Investors have piled up $300 to $500 billion each in Europe.

Perhaps 10 to 15 years ago, the question for individual investors was, "should I allocate internationally?" Now, it's a foregone conclusion. What the question has become, however, is, "where are the returns?"

Historically, international equity has been one of the highest-returning equity classes. The Morgan Stanley EAFE index has returned 12% annually since 1970, and the 10-year rolling returns of EAFE have exceeded the returns of the S&P 500 index every year since 1988. (Note: Morgan Stanley's EAFE Index consists of stocks from Europe, the Far East, and Australia, and is widely used as the de facto benchmark for evaluating international investment portfolios.)

So why is it that just as the concept of globalization gains momentum, international market returns, both regionally and in aggregate, have been sluggish at best, and downright poor at worst? Yes, the EAFE index has averaged 12.0% annually since 1970, but has averaged a paltry 3.5% annually since 1990. Emerging markets, which were the darlings of Wall Street in the 1980s when they averaged 35.3% per year, have returned just 6.1%, and that includes a +68.3% gain in 1993.

Those numbers are bad enough. When you throw in the recent financial crises in Asia, and domino-like series of other international fiscal dilemmas dating back to the early part of the decade, the prospects for growth in international markets appear bleak. But are they?

Fortunately, if you are a believer in business cycles, statistical regression, and plain common sense, the news is good: International equities provide about as much opportunity--and better value--than you will find in most segments of the U.S. market.

First, from a purely quantitative perspective, remember that it pays to be well positioned in out-of-favor asset classes prior to an extended rise. Asset classes that have been stagnant, or declining for extended periods (like international equity and U.S. small company stocks) will often recoup gains very rapidly.

From a qualitative perspective, it seems that the recent sell-off in Asia and the media's response may have been overly excessive. The "perception" of crisis in Asia has probably been much worse than the reality.

So does that mean that you should wager large bets on Hong Kong, Thailand, and Japan? Obviously not. There are real structural dilemmas facing that region, particularly in the areas of banking and finance, and information services. But in the larger scheme of things, the region is simply transitioning from explosive (and ultimately unsustainable) growth to more moderate growth. More important for investors, though, is the fact that many of the challenges facing foreign markets over the next few years may have already been discounted, as investors are expecting the worst.

Simply deciding to increase your exposure to international markets is only the beginning. International equity allocation can be a tricky business--it is similar to other allocation decisions in many respects, but also very different in others.

Just like for U.S. domestic equities, international equities should be allocated across many subcategories, such as growth and value, small and large company, and industry sector, not to mention underlying country and/or region, and "political risk." In fact, some recent studies have demonstrated that industry allocation is as important as country/region allocation, due to more discernible rotations among foreign industry sectors (in the U.S., sector rotation is less clear).

Don't have time to monitor shifting currency exchange rates, central bank appointments and elections, and yesterday's close on Slovenia's Ljudljana Stock Exchange (or the 50 other major global stock exchanges)? Then selecting a good international money manager(s) should be your primary focus. Because just like any other kind of investing, it all boils down to: 1) smart asset allocation; and 2) selecting superior investment managers. With specific regard to international fund managers, make sure that the managers you select diversify holdings across multiple levels (company, sector, country, region), are keenly aware of how shifting currency rates affect your portfolio return, and most important of all, have proven experience--and success--in global investment management.

Investment Strategies For Planned Giving Professionals

The investment of charitable assets introduces a whole new set of complex issues. There are, of course, two interests to consider with charitable giving--the philanthropist's and the charitable beneficiary's. Both desire maximum value. Additionally, the philanthropist must take into account the tax considerations related to distributions from the trust. The challenge for today's planned giving profession, is to create an asset allocation strategy and investment program that balances the needs of philanthropists with those of beneficiaries.

In a charitable remainder trust, for instance, the goal is to insure a lifelong income stream for the donor while also providing the maximum remainder interest to the charity. In order to provide an ongoing income stream, investment professionals tend to rely on one of three models. The classic strategy is to create a defined income stream (through the purchase of fixed income securities) to match the payout of the trust or foundation. Typically, however, this strategy will not produce a high enough current return in a lower interest rate environment, nor will it provide against the ongoing effects of inflation.

A more prudent approach is to adopt a total return spending rule where the portfolio is invested to produce income to the beneficiary as a constant percentage of the asset pool. This enables the investment professional to focus on long term growth without being inhibited in his/her asset allocation decisions by current income needs.

A third strategy is to "immunize and equitize." Here, three years worth of spending is set aside in cash or short-term fixed income instruments, enabling the balance of the portfolio to be invested in the equity markets. Whenever the market generates a positive quarterly return, equity allocations are trimmed back to replenish the cash portion of the portfolio. In declining quarters, the beneficiary simply spends capital.

Dr. William Breen of the Kellogg Business School at Northwestern University has authored numerous studies on the concept of "immunize and equitize." Breen has shown this to be an effective way of enabling a portfolio to reach maximum equity exposure for long term growth, while providing a constant income stream for the income beneficiary.

As a general proposition, though, most nonprofit investment portfolios are typically allocated much too conservatively. The norm is still to place heavy emphasis on cash and fixed income securities, and equity markets are frequently underrepresented. Even charitable assets earmarked for long term growth (particularly charitable remainder trusts) still allocate 40% or more of total assets into fixed income securities.

Harvard Business School's synopsis of the Yale University Investment Office, a 200-year-old private foundation, provides an excellent case study demonstrating how one nonprofit organization has gone "against the grain" to satisfy all parties involved. Throughout the 20th century, the Yale Foundation has earned superior investment results, including a 13.5% annualized rate of return over the past 10 years, by embracing the risk-reward relationship and adhering to a long term perspective.

Although some consider the Yale approach to be unconventional for a nonprofit institution, I believe the Yale model will ultimately emerge as the "how to" blueprint for nonprofit institutions in the 21st century.

Here were some of the "main ingredients" of the foundation's successful investment strategy:

  • Developed a long term perspective--and stuck with it.

  • Developed a consensus early on that equities, whether publicly-traded or privately-held, outperformed fixed income over long periods, were less sensitive to inflation, and ultimately provided the best means for foundation's growth.

  • Always diversified the investment portfolio--regardless of prevailing market trends or sentiments in order to dampen volatility.

  • Made investments in less efficient and/or alternative asset classes, such as emerging foreign markets, private equity/venture capital, natural resources, and real estate.

  • Employed sophisticated hedging strategies to both generate excess returns and defend against market uncertainty (currently 25% of the portfolio is allocated to "absolute return" strategies).

  • Did not buy and sell individual securities, but instead hired independent money managers for all but the most routine investments.

  • Having concluded that money manager selection was critical, utilized a vigorous screening process to choose money managers from small, research-intensive firms.

  • Negotiated and developed fee structures with money managers in a manner that encouraged a mutually beneficial relationship between Yale and the managers.

Summary: The Art Of The Long View

Noted Goldman Sach's market strategist Abby Cohen likens the U.S. economy and its financial markets to a "supertanker": It may not be the fastest ship, but it sure is hard to knock off course. Although there will surely be a few "storms" along the way, as long as the U.S. remains "on course," the outlook for the markets remains bright.

The United States will remain the most attractive financial market in the world for the next several years, particularly in light of the problems that other national markets are having. Continued American economic growth, a conservative fiscal policy, strong domestic demand and spending, and well-managed corporations all appeal to foreign (and obviously, U.S.) investors who have lost confidence in the ability of foreign economies to produce superior returns without unbearable volatility. As things stand now, investors are not getting compensated for taking the additional risk introduced by foreign markets.

U.S. small company stocks should also finally return to the limelight. There are a slew of historical, tax, and purely quantitative reasons why we like small stocks. But another thing to consider is that U.S. small stocks could benefit from growth investors who just don't have the stomach for emerging markets. These investors still need a long-term growth component for their asset allocation strategy, and perhaps these assets will be shifted out of the emerging markets asset classes and into U.S. small company stocks.

International stocks--which like small stocks have underperformed in recent years after being the darlings of Wall Street in the 1980s--obviously introduce difficult decisions, but also present golden opportunities, as has been noted earlier. International stocks will pick up steam as the smoke surrounding the Asian crises thins out.

In Asia, specifically, we see parallels to the collapse of the American market in 1974. The rout at that time was due to the increase in energy prices. The Dow bottomed out around 625, and at that time, price earnings multiples were approximately equal to yields. Most intelligent financial advisors were telling clients to buy equities, but there were few takers. The ones that did are looking pretty good now, as the Dow has increased over 1300% since the mid-70s.

Shifting back to the U.S., although the stock market and the economy are fueled by "big picture" trends like demographic trends and investor psychology, it still is important for investors not to ignore traditional valuation measurements. A very important one is growth in corporate profits, and 1998 statistics show that profit growth is clearly slowing.

Reasonable forecasts call for 6% growth in operating profits for the S&P 500, to about $47.50. At 1120, this means the '98 P/E is already at 23.5. In the absence of big earnings growth, P/F multiples would need to expand rather dramatically to take the market much higher.

In this environment, managers who can selectively use leverage, sell stocks short and invest in arbitrage strategies may generate much higher returns than the S&P 500 in the years ahead and with lower volatility. Alternative asset classes such as private equity and hedge funds are gaining widespread acceptance, even in the nonprofit arena (planned giving professionals, however, need to be fully apprised of issues such as unrelated taxable business income when investing in these asset classes).

But regardless of which assets move in and out of favor over the next few years, some investment "rules" remain timeless. The aforementioned checklist from the Yale University Investment Office provides excellent investment strategies. Supplement that list with the one below, which is a set of universal principles applicable to all investors:

  • Develop a long-term strategy and stick with it.

  • Over 90% of portfolio' returns come from asset allocation, so review your asset mix frequently.

  • Create a well-diversified equity portfolio that considers all categories of stocks (large, small, value, growth, domestic, and international).

  • Avoid overweight, out-of-favor asset classes that have recently underperformed their long term expected return (and underweight the asset classes that have overperformed long term expected returns).

  • Know your performance from year to year, and how your investment managers track both their benchmarks and peer groups.

  • Take advantage of volatility, and use it to your advantage.

  • Market timing is a fool's game. Remember, investing is a marathon--not a 100-yard dash.

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