Comprehensive Financial Solutions, Inc.

440-343-4223

Investment Read Time: 3 min

The Investment Risk No One’s Ever Heard Of

Knowledgeable investors are aware that investing in the capital markets presents any number of risks, including interest rate risk, company risk, and market risk. Risk is an inseparable companion to the potential for long-term growth. Some of the investment risks we face can be mitigated through diversification.1

As an investor, you face another, lesser-known risk for which the market does not compensate you, nor can it be easily reduced through diversification. Yet, it may be the biggest challenge to the sustainability of your retirement income.

This risk is called the sequence of returns risk.

The sequence of returns risk refers to the uncertainty of the order of returns an investor will receive over an extended period of time. As Milton Friedman once observed, you should, “never try to walk across a river just because it has an average depth of four feet.”2

Sequence of Returns

Mr. Freidman’s point was that averages may hide dangerous possibilities. This is especially true with the stock market. You may be comfortable that the market will deliver its historical average return over the long-term, but you can never know when you will be receiving the varying positive and negative returns that comprise the average. The order in which you receive these returns can make a big difference.

For instance, a hypothetical market decline of 30% is not to be unexpected. However, would you rather experience this decline when you have relatively small retirement savings or at the moment you are ready to retire – when your savings may never be more valuable? Without a doubt, the former scenario is preferable, but the timing of that large potential decline is out of your control.

Timing, Timing, Timing

The sequence of returns risk is especially problematic while you are in retirement. Down years, in combination with portfolio withdrawals taken to provide retirement income, have the potential to seriously damage the ability of your savings to recover sufficiently, even as the markets fully rebound.

If you are nearing retirement or already in retirement, it’s time to give serious consideration to the “sequence of returns risk” and ask questions about how you can better manage your portfolio.

1. Diversification is an approach to help manage investment risk. It does not eliminate the risk of loss if security prices decline.
2. Quotefancy.com, 2021

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Share |
 

Related Content

4 Easy Ways to Turn the Next Generation into Savvy Savers

4 Easy Ways to Turn the Next Generation into Savvy Savers

In times like these—nearly a decade after the Great Recession and in the midst of the current crisis—teaching your kids the value of a dollar is more critical than ever.

9 Facts About Social Security

9 Facts About Social Security

There are things about Social Security that might surprise you.

You Would Rather Be...

You Would Rather Be...

Are you a thrill seeker, or content to relax in the backyard? Use this flowchart to find out more about your risk tolerance.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

When to Self-Insure

Choosing to bear the financial burden of an adverse event is called self-insuring. Do you know what that entails?

Immediate vs. Deferred Annuities

Looking forward to retirement? It's critical to understand the difference between immediate and deferred annuities.

The 12 Steps to Living Confidently: Retire With Confidence

There are good ways to retire and bad ways to retire. Retire the right way by better understanding Social Security.

View all articles

What Is My Risk Tolerance?

This questionnaire will help determine your tolerance for investment risk.

Potential Income from an IRA

Estimate your monthly and annual income from various IRA types.

Federal Income Tax

Use this calculator to estimate your income tax liability along with average and marginal tax rates.

View all calculators

Long-Term-Care Protection Strategies

The chances of needing long-term care, its cost, and strategies for covering that cost.

Managing Your Lifestyle

Using smart management to get more of what you want and free up assets to invest.

Protecting Those Who Matter Most

The importance of life insurance, how it works, and how much coverage you need.

View all presentations

Encore Careers: Push Your Boundaries

Ready for retirement? Find out why many are considering encore careers and push your boundaries into something more, here.

Video: The Independence of Financial and Emotional

Greater financial and emotional confidence brings greater independence. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

The Other Sure Thing

Though we don’t like to think about it, all of us will make an exit sometime. Are you prepared?

View all videos