By Brad Pistole – Commentary
When it comes to your retirement plan and trying to “time the markets,” good luck because no one knows when the market will go up, and no one knows when the market will go down. Jim Cramer does not know. Dave Ramsey does not know. Suze Orman does not know. Your broker does not know. No one knows. Do you know what the stock market crashes of 2001, 2008, and 2020 have in common? NO ONE saw them coming. The economy was excellent! Unemployment was low. Morale was strong. And then, virtually overnight, the stock market crashed. And when it did, it left millions of people financially and emotionally devastated.
In just twenty-three trading days starting on February 20th, 2020, the stock market dropped a combined total of -10,997 points. This included the worst week on Wall Street since the 2008 financial disaster when the market dropped -4,011 in just five days. The volatility during this month of trading was unlike anything that has ever existed. The market experienced violent swings with one day losses as high as -2,997 points and one-day gains as high as +2,113 points. The Dow Jones dropped from a 52-week high of 29,568 in early 2020 to 18,591 in late March, wiping out 100% of the gains of the market during Donald Trump’s Presidency.
If you are in your 30’s or 40’s, you probably were not too concerned about this. But if you are in your 50’s, 60’s, or 70’s, stock market crashes like this can indeed be life-altering. Most people fail to realize just how bad losses hurt your retirement plan. Did you know a 30% loss in an account requires a 47% gain just to get back to even? And this does not include the losses that come from the fees that are being charged against your account.
If your 401k or IRA was tied to any market or investment that was not protected against losses, you probably remember exactly how you felt during this crisis. In the Spring of 2020, I had someone call into my show, Safe Money Radio, who told me their January 1st – March 31st, 2020 quarterly retirement account statement was down -$96,244. That represented a 23.2% loss, and they wanted to make it stop. The worst part is, they were just six months away from their anticipated retirement date. Perhaps you experienced something very similar to this in 2001, 2008, or in 2020.
Here is the good news: it does not have to be this way. There are retirement accounts that will protect your principal and earnings from stock market volatility, and they have existed for decades. I own five of these accounts, and I have hundreds of clients who own them. Here is the best part: when the 2008 and 2020 market crashes took place, not one single client of mine lost one single penny from their Fixed Indexed Annuity accounts, and they have guaranteed lifetime income they can never outlive. They never have to worry about losing money because of what is happening in the markets. They keep 100% of their hard-earned money in their pocket, and they sleep well at night. It pays to be protected!
Warren Buffet has been credited with one of my favorite sayings of all time: “Only when the tide goes out, do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” In the Spring of 2020, when the stock market crashed, many people were invested in accounts that exposed the reality of their situation, and they were caught with their retirement pants down. When the markets are riding the waves of all-time highs, everyone looks like a genius. When the markets take 30+% drops as they did in 2020, you quickly see who was not protected! Don’t get caught without trunks on! Protect yourself and your family with accounts that keep 100% of your principal SAFE no matter what happens in the markets. You will be glad you did.