With the way markets have behaved in the last two months? Possibly next decade. Maybe in another generation’s lifetime.
Kidding. However, I don’t have a crystal ball. If I (reluctantly) must pin a tail on this donkey, I’d suggest about 2017. That would make it a decade from one peak to the next.
That seems a long time, particularly given that US markets have rallied well above their 2007 highs. But our sharemarket is different.
Australian companies pay out a lot of their profits as dividends. American companies don’t – they reinvest it back into themselves for growth. If Australian companies did the same, we would probably be at new highs also.
That’s what happens with our superannuation. Income paid by companies to super funds gets reinvested. As a result, even without extra contributions, most super funds are back above their November 2007 balances.
But, aah, the peak up to November 2007! Making money didn’t require financial brains. You just needed to be invested.
That party had to end. And how. Dizzying highs often end in dizzying lows. And 17 months later … rock bottom, like a junkie checking into Betty Ford.
For Gen Xers, the experience was a solid reminder of one of the fundamentals of investing. It’s a long-haul game about constant investment.
If you started investing at the peak, and continued to invest (and reinvest income) as the market fell and into the future, you would have done all right.
Seven years later, Xers still have plenty of time on their side. We will see another monster crash or two. Don’t get panicked.
Bruce Brammall is the principal adviser with Castellan Financial Consulting (www.castellanfinancial.com.au) and author of Debt Man Walking.