Tom Brady, quarterback for the New England Patriots, has accumulated as many accolades as any pro football player in the NFL. Super Bowl rings, MVP awards, division championships and a certain future nomination in the pro football Hall of Fame are but a few of his many accomplishments.
But in Week 4 of this 2014-15 season, Brady and the Patriots came to Kansas City to play the Chiefs. On top of Kansas City's phenomenal game plan and perhaps best defensive game of the year, Brady had probably his worst showing of the year and did not look like the quarterback worthy of any of this attention.
It was early in the second half when the sports announcers, who earlier had nothing but praise for Brady, now were singing a different tune. "Brady is 37. He's over-the-hill. He's all washed up. He can't play in the big leagues any more." And on and on it went. Each incomplete pass, every three-and-out, and here came more of the barrage of negative comments from the commentators.
The fact is since that fateful day, Brady has, to date, led the Patriots to eight wins in nine games and a division leading 10-4 record. Hardly a washed-up quarterback's performance.
Unfortunately, in the financial world, there are also those who will latch on to any occurrence, however insignificant it might be, and fill their readers or listeners with similar negative comments.
Since the stock market correction in 2008, we have had a strong and steady increase. If we had reacted to every little hiccup in the market along the way, we'd have been in and out of the market a multitude of times. Those who predict a correction in the market will eventually be right. If years and years of history are repeated, we will continue to have corrections, now and in the future.
However, if you jump out of the market, (maybe because you read a "doom and gloom" article) then you have to know when to jump back in. If you don't know that exact time, unfortunately, you might miss a profound surge that could increase your portfolio substantially.
After the next correction does actually occur, those who predicted the downturn will write a book or appear on TV saying, "I told you so." That makes sense, until you see how long -- or how many times -- they've predicted the downturn.
Whether you invest on your own or have an adviser investing for you, set up a portfolio that reflects your age, timeframe and your risk tolerance, and stay the course until one of those factors changes. A managed account allows intricate changes to be made in your account without you doing anything at all. Many 401(k) plans have a model that adjusts on its own as you get closer to retirement.
So when you hear or read about the doomsayers spouting off at the first indication of a downturn in the market, remember Brady and how inaccurate their information turned out to be.
Tim Schumacher represents Strategic Financial Partners