The Only Investment You Need to Make for Retirement

It’s Wes Roth here, let’s look at the only fund you need to invest in for the rest of your life. This will be the last investing video you will ever have to see, I promise.

If you take away one thing from this video, it’s this:

Most people, including professional investors and fund managers, Can’t beat “the market” over long periods of time.

This is very important to understand. A lot of market returns is fugazi.

When you are investing in stocks, a lot of people new to investing think that as long as the stock they bought went up, they’ve made money and are “good at investing” whereas if the stock they bought went down, they are “bad at investing”.

A better way to think about this, and this is how professional investors think about it, is how well their performance compares to the “Market” or how well all of the stocks did as a whole. 

A common benchmark is the SP500, the 500 biggest companies in America, and for the most part the world.

You probably know a lot of the companies on there. Apple, Microsoft Google, Tesla, Ford, Toyota, Visa, Home Depot, Pfizer, Coke.

So if you put a dollar into the SP500, you make money when the market as a whole goes up and you lose money when the market goes down.

You don’t really care about any one particular company doing well, or short term ups and down in the market.

If you invested your money in the SP500 back when it started in 1957 and just left it alone you would expect to make about 10% per year on your investment.

If you individually picked stocks, bought and sold and then ended up making only 8% on your money year after year, while it’s true you would have more money, you would have “underperformed the market”. 

After all your efforts, you would have less money in the bank than if you simply put money into the SP500 and forgot about it.

By the way the SP500 performance is almost identical to the whole stock market. The SP500 is now over 85% of the whole US stocks market and the difference in performance is very small. 

Picking one over the other is unlikely to make a difference.

I stick with the SP500 personally, although Vanguards total stock market index is bigger in terms of how much money is invested in it.

Now the reason we mainly are looking at US stocks is because compared to other developed nations, the US has favored its corporate sector above everything else since the early 1980s, which made the US stock market an attractive sponge to absorb capital from everywhere.

The US government needs for the US stock market to do well, a lot of our success as a nation depends on it and while a lot of people argue that it shouldn’t be such a high priority. For the time being most wealthy individuals and institutions see the US market as a very safe and profitable place to park their money.

So… what is the top Vanguard fund for long term investors looking to compound their money over decades.

Well I put all my long term money into Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares aka VFIAX as it’s commonly referred to.

I add to it on a set schedule. I don’t try to time the market or ever sell out of it. Just dollar cost average over time and forget about it.

This isn’t the most fun way of investing, but it’s one that has proven to work extremely well over long periods of time and it frees me up to focus on increasing my income to buy more and more of the fund over time.

Now I have other active investments that I do, but the bulk of my money goes into this fund and then gets ignored until I’m ready to retire.

Question for you. What does YOUR investment approach look like? I’m curious to know.

Let me know in the comments, I read every single one.

My name is Wes Roth. See you next time.