Wall Street’s start to 2016 has been shaky at best.
The stock market takes a tumble, surges and then tumbles again, leaving many investors dismayed.
“I know people who stayed in the market and now are dealing with lots of regret because they have lost 8 to 10 percent, and that was after an already negative year in 2015,” says Stephen Gardner (www.yourbridgeplan.com), a safe-money specialist and author of “A Bridge Over Troubled Wall Street.”
“The stock market will always be volatile, which is why I recommend investing money elsewhere. Few people are good at timing the market’s ups and downs so that they can reap the rewards.”
Many people also don’t understand the true cost of losing in the market, he says. Some harsh realities include:
• Fees eat away at profits. Investors can end up losing a good chunk of their investment to fees they pay to their advisors. They may not even be aware of the amounts they are paying.
• Returns must be even greater after losses. If the market drops 20 percent, for example, and then recovers 20 percent, investors don’t break even. “You need a 25 percent recovery to get your money back after a 20 percent drop,” Gardner says.
• Time works against you. When you suffer a market loss, you don’t just lose money. You also lose time because before your investment can start growing again you first have to gain back your loss. “People say, ‘Well, I got back to where I was before the crash,’ ” Gardner says. “But your portfolio would have been worth much more if you hadn’t had the loss to begin with.”
He says one investment option that can work for those leery of Wall Street’s unpredictability is a “bridge plan,” a real estate lending strategy that provides a solid return while avoiding market risks.
Here’s how it works:
Developers need capital to build or renovate commercial property such as hotels, office buildings, resorts, shopping centers and apartment buildings.
Gardner works with clients who pool their money to make a 12 to 18-month “bridge loan” to fund the work. The return on that loan, stated in a contract, is usually 5 to 7 percent, Gardner says.
“It makes being involved in real estate easy while at the same time giving clients the opportunity to make better returns,” Gardner says. “You can leave the speculation and gambling of the market behind. As a result, you will better understand how your money is growing.”
About Stephen Gardner
Stephen Gardner, author of “A Bridge Over Troubled Wall Street,” committed to becoming a safe money specialist after losing 38 percent of his retirement money to Wall Street. As owner and founder of the Safe Millionaire Club (www.yourbridgeplan.com), he works with families to get safer returns on their retirement funds. Gardner also is the bestselling author of “Billion Dollar Blueprint” and “Smartest Doctor in the Room.”