The late Colin Powell once said, there are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from the failure.
Hi, I'm Rob West. There are also no secrets to successful investing. In the long run, several key factors will determine your results. Mark Biller lays those out for us today, and then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000.
That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Well, it's always a pleasure when Mark Biller stops by to give us his insights on successful investing. He's the executive editor at Sound Mind Investing, where they're always focused on positive results. Mark, great to have you back on the program. Thanks, Rob.
Good to be back with you. Mark, today, as you know, we want to look at an article that you have up at soundmindinvesting.org. It's titled Eight Key Factors That Determine Your Long-Term Investing Results. We'll get into those specifics in a moment. But first, why don't you give us the big picture message you want listeners to hear today?
Yeah, sure. Well, in a nutshell, Rob, it's that we need to focus on what you can control rather than worrying about what you can't. And that's pretty good advice for most aspects of life, definitely for money management. Now, for investors, I'd say it's also a timely reminder for us today, given the obvious uncertainty about the stock market's future direction. You know, some investors seem to think that the bear market's over and they've been bidding stocks back up higher in these first few weeks of 2023.
We have a little bit different view on that. We've been pointing to an impending recession, which we think is probably going to extend and maybe deepen last year's bear market. But the bigger point, really, and as we're about to talk about in the next few minutes, is regardless of which way the market moves this year, there are still several factors that you as an individual have direct control over.
And so those are the things that we really want to focus our attention on. All right, that's really helpful, Mark. By the way, if you have a question for Mark Biller, specifically on investing, the markets, perhaps your investment strategy, we'd love to hear from you in this portion of the broadcast.
Phone lines are open at 800-525-7000. Mark, we have eight of these successful factors for investing, so we better dive in. What's first on the list? Yeah, well, let's start off with the elephant in the room, and that's the rate of return that you earn on your investments. This is what investors focus almost all of their attention on, which causes them to spend most of their time trying to find the winning stocks, the best funds, the best market guru to follow, all of that kind of stuff. And it's not that your rate of return doesn't matter.
Obviously, it does. It's just that, unfortunately, this is the one factor that we're going to talk about today that's really out of your control unless you're willing to settle for CD-type fixed-rate investments. No matter how much you know how hard you work, you really can't do a whole lot to determine what your rate of return will be. So instead, we think it makes a lot of sense to turn your attention to the factors where you do have a lot of control.
Yeah, that's actually liberating. We don't worry about the thing that most investors worry about most. So where do we have more control with our investments, Mark? Yeah, well, the first factor where you do have a lot of control is whether you're building on a strong foundation.
You don't have as much to fear from recessions, from bear markets, if you're debt-free, if you've got an emergency savings reserve, and if you're using a cash flow plan that produces a monthly surplus. Now, our ability to put a foundation like that in place is definitely affected by how big a house we buy, how new a car we drive, how responsibly we handle credit, and a lot of other decisions like those, most of which are under our direct control. Yeah, and that's really key, is we want to focus on what we can control, and of course, we can put that financial foundation in place. We talk about it all the time here on the program, recognizing God owns it all and that we need to spend less than we earn, avoid debt, have some margin, but also set long-term goals, including our investment strategy, and then of course, be really, really generous.
That's modeled throughout Scripture. So we'll continue to unpack these successful factors for investing. We're joined today by Mark Biller, executive editor at Soundmind Investing. You can read this article in depth at soundmindinvesting.org. Phone lines are open for your investing questions during this portion of the broadcast.
The number to call is 800-525-7000. Back with much more with Mark Biller right after this. Stay with us. It's great to have you on Faith and Finance Live.
I'm Rob West. With me today, Mark Biller, executive editor at soundmindinvesting.org. Today, we're talking about a new article you'll find at soundmindinvesting.org. It's called Eight Key Factors That Determine Your Long-Term Investing Results. Mark just started with the first, and that is that we need to recognize we've got to have a strong financial foundation, and that really is key. We'll continue to unpack these, plus your questions today for Mark Biller at 800-525-7000.
Let's head to Tennessee. Azariah, I understand you're 12 years old and you're you're interested in this topic. Tell us why you're calling today. Yeah, as you said, I'm 12 years old.
I want to start earning some money, but I'm not really sure how to do it, so I want to start investing, but I don't really know where to start. Okay, so tell me about the money that you've already been able to put away. Has that been from birthdays and gifts, or are you working around the house? What are you doing? Both. Okay, all right, and how much have you already been able to save?
About 200. Okay, congratulations, Azariah. That's awesome. Now, we typically think in terms of putting money in jars, or you might say buckets, where you'd have, you know, the money you're spending, the money you're saving, and the money you're giving. Have you thought about dividing your money among those three categories?
Sort of. Most of it's all in a savings account. Okay, all right, that's great. So for the portion that you're saving, you want to begin thinking about investing, which is really, at the end of the day, Azariah, it's owning real companies, right? Because when we're an investor, we're an owner, a very, very small owner, but we're an owner in a real company with sales and earnings, and they're selling their products and their services, and when you get started and begin to understand that, you can really begin to develop an understanding of how you grow God's money. Well, good news.
You've got Mark Biller on the line. Mark is an investing expert, and Mark, I'd love for you to give Azariah some of your thoughts on where he goes from here. Yeah, Azariah, that's fantastic.
You're off to a great start, so that's wonderful. You know, long-term, Azariah, one thing that we try to do as investors is we try to diversify, which is just a fancy word that means we spread our money among a lot of different investments. Now, that's kind of a long-term goal, and eventually, down the road, you know, one easy way to own little pieces of lots of different companies without having a whole lot of money is to buy something we call a mutual fund, and so that's usually where we focus our efforts, but as you're getting started, it may not be a terrible idea to pick one or two specific companies that you're very interested in and buy shares of those companies. You're not going to have the diversification of owning lots of different investments, but I think that as you're just starting this journey, that can be a real helpful way to kind of stoke that interest to follow a couple of companies that you're very interested in. So the way you do that typically is you set up an account with an online brokerage firm, and if your parents have accounts with somebody, I would encourage them to just help you get set up wherever they are.
If they're not set up, there are plenty of options. Schwab Fidelity, Robinhood, they're pros and cons of these different ones, but that's a place that you can put your $200 or a portion of that, buy a couple shares of companies that you're specifically interested in, and then follow those companies and start to learn about this investing process. There's really no better way to learn than by doing it, so I really commend you for getting such an early start. I think that's great.
Yeah, I couldn't agree more, Azariah. So I think your next step is to talk to your mom, and I know she's there today with you, but I think talking to your mom about setting up one of those accounts, she'll probably want to set it up in her name, or she could set it up as a custodial account that's basically for you with your name on it, but it doesn't become yours until you're 18 years old. She could go either way and then let you begin to research, which is nothing more than really thinking about and perhaps doing some internet searching as long as it's safe and with your mom and dad's permission on the company or companies you want to buy, and then through something like Robinhood that Mr. Biller mentioned, you can buy what are called fractional shares, so you could buy a very small piece, even $100 worth of a big company that you're interested in.
It could be a food company or a gaming company or, you know, it could be any number of things, and then as you begin to invest, I suspect you'll be pretty interested in that, how that company is doing, because every quarter they're going to come out and say, well, here's how we did last quarter, and did we have a profit, which means they made money, or did we have a loss, which means they lost money, and over time you'll develop some excitement in watching that money grow, although it could decline, and you need to be prepared for that because that's part of investing, especially in a year like we're in this year and last year, where the market has been pretty challenging just because we're going through some more difficult economic times right now. So here's what I want to do. On top of everything we shared today, and I know you and your mom have been listening, I want to send you a gift. It's our gift to you. It's a book, and it's called the Sound Mind Investing Handbook. Now, some of the terms are going to be difficult to understand, and so you may, you know, read it with your parents and begin to talk through it, but I want to send you that.
I also want to send you a book by my friend Howard Dayton. It's called the ABCs of Handling Money, God's Way, because that's the big idea. In addition to investing, we want you to know that God speaks to money management in the Bible, because everything you have, that $200 and everything else you'll earn, it all belongs to God.
So guess what? You're you're his money manager, Azariah, which is a really cool idea, just to think about that God has entrusted you with a portion of what is his. And so you get to be his money manager, and we can honor him when we don't make our focus on money, but ultimately money becomes a tool to accomplish God's purposes. Now, we can invest that for the future, and that's a good idea.
In fact, the Bible speaks to that, but we should also be looking for ways to give generously, because that's also on the heart of God. So listen, I know we've thrown a lot at you today, but do you have any other questions before we let you go? Yes.
Okay, go ahead. So when you said, like, watching the companies, what do you mean by watching them, and how would you do that? Yeah, that's a great idea. So, you know, in the old days, we used to get the newspaper, and we'd track those companies. Today, you're probably going to want to look at them online. So whether it's Google or Yahoo Finance, your parents can help you, and you only want to do this, you know, when you're on the internet with your mom and dad, but you can put in what's called the ticker symbol, which is the symbol that every publicly traded company has. And you can read about the company, all the news that's coming out.
So maybe once a week, again, talk to your parents, but you may want to look and see, are there any new stories related to this company I bought? And then remember, once a quarter, which is four times a year, they're going to come out with their profit or their loss, and you can read about that as well. So as you begin reading about the company and how they're doing, and are they performing well, or they're having a hard time, you'll begin to get an understanding of what's going on with that company, okay? Okay, and would it be a good idea to look at past profits and stuff? Absolutely, yeah. I think that certainly could be a good idea because you're going to see trends. So you're going to see, is the trend up, like they've been doing well, and maybe they're starting to turn down like a lot of companies are now, or they've been going down for a long time?
So the past performance is certainly a part of what you will look at, and I think this book will help you with some of that as well. Hey, listen, I've got to go, but hey, would you mind checking in with us along the way and tell us how it's going? Yeah, thank you so much.
That'd be awesome. You stay on the line. We're going to get your information and send you this book on behalf of Mr. Biller and me, and we're so thankful you called today. Hey, God bless you, Azariah. You're doing great.
So proud of you. Hey, we're going to take a quick break on Faith & Finance Live. When we come back, Mark Biller is going to continue to unpack these successful principles and factors for your investing.
Stay with us. Thanks for joining us today on Faith & Finance Live. I'm Rob Lask with me, Mark Biller, executive editor at Soundmind Investing. You can learn more at soundmindinvesting.org. We're talking about eight key factors that determine your long-term investing results, and before the break, Mark, we had a chance to talk to Azariah.
So encouraging to hear a young man who's already interested in exploring investing, huh? Yeah, absolutely. That was a lot of fun.
Yeah, it sure was. All right, let's dive back into these. You had said, you know, really, we should worry about what we can control, not what we can't control. The first one, of course, you know, we wanted to think about the rate of return we earn. Beyond that, Mark, you say that really one of the next ideas of successful investing is how much you save. Tell us about that.
Yeah, so let's run through a real quick example just to illustrate this. So if you invest $200 a month for 20 years and you earn the market's long-term rate of return, which has been about 10%, that'll grow to around $150,000. Now, you could improve that to close to $200,000 by doing one of two things. One is you could earn 12% instead of 10%, or you could get that same result by just increasing the amount you're saving by $60 a month. Now, just about every investor out there is going to try to move heaven and earth to move that return from 10% to 12%, but as we've been talking about, Rob, that's the thing that really isn't very, very much under your control.
I'm not going to say you have any control over that, but that's a hard thing to do, to go from 10% to 12%, whereas increasing that monthly deposit by a relatively small amount, that is something that's pretty doable for most people. So again, do you want to focus on the thing that's really hard for you to move the needle on or focus on the thing that you have direct control over? Yeah, I think that's really helpful.
Always better to focus on what we can control versus what we can't. I will be taking more of your questions from Mark Biller today. We've got some lines open, 800-525-7000, but first, the next of these successful factors, and it has to do with something we don't love to think about, but it's the idea of taxes. Yeah, absolutely. How much you lose to taxes is a big part of this, and so the example we just went through assumes that that money's being invested in a tax-deferred retirement account. If it's not, and if that's in a regular taxable account, then you'd need to earn a lot more, more like 12.5% per year instead of the 10% to hit that final target that we were talking about.
So I say all of that just to make the bigger point, which is you really want to make full use of any tax-advantaged accounts, either at your workplace, like a 401k or 403b, or by using IRAs and those types of accounts. Yeah, very good. All right, let's take some phone calls.
We'll continue through this list as we go. 800-525-7000 to Crawford, Nebraska. Hi, Wallace. Thanks for calling. Go ahead. Hello. Yes, I'm 88 years old, and I've invested earlier, many, many years ago, about 30, in the neighborhood of $30,000 with Waddell Reed, and they were sold out to another company, and with Waddell Reed, I was always able to have extra income from them that I could withdraw my required amount at 70 and a half years, you know, and pay for my bills, but since they were bought out, I don't have that kind of return anymore, and I called them twice and they said it's because of the bonds, and so since January 1st, 2022, down to December 31st, 2022, I probably lost about seven or eight thousand dollars.
What do I do? Yeah, and that's all in one company, is that right, Wallace? Yes, one brokerage. I mean, they have it scattered over many, many, many different investments. Oh, okay. All right, so it's invested in lots of companies, but you're down about 27%, it sounds like, $8,000 on $30,000? Yes.
Okay. Mark, your thoughts? How do you proceed, given the situation? Yeah, that's a big loss on a bond portfolio, but I will say, Wallace, last year was the worst year in decades for bond investors. The rapid rise of interest rates really hurt bond investors, because the cardinal rule of bond investing is that when interest rates go up, bond prices go down and vice versa, but that was the situation we had last year.
So, a couple of things here. One, I would encourage people who have bond investments at this point to not get too focused on what happened last year in terms of using that as a reason to change everything around going forward, and the reason that I say that is I really do think last year was kind of that perfect storm for bonds in that we started with these just ridiculously low interest rates, and as those move from near zero to where they are today, as a percentage of the starting yields, that was just an enormous move. In some of these cases, like a one-year Treasury bond, the yield went up by a factor of 10 to 12 times from its starting point to the end of the year. Now, for that to happen again would be almost impossible, because you'd be going more from like 3.5 to 35%, which we've never seen that happen with bonds ever before, anything close. So, I say all of that just to say, I am not real pessimistic on bonds from today's starting point. Now, of course, you can get more safety in your bonds by focusing more on short-term bonds, so that might be an easier adjustment to make within the current account.
So, a few thoughts there for bonds. Yeah, that's a great thought, and I would fully concur with that, Wallace. So, I would talk to your advisor about what Mark shared, and probably stay the course here, and then look down the road to make a change.
But again, as Mark said, what you experienced was very rare, and it just happened to be an unusual year last year. All the best to you, sir. Thanks for calling the program. 800-525-7000, your calls from Mark Bill are just around the corner.
Stay with us. I'm grateful to have you with us today on Faith & Finance Live. I'm Rob West, your host. We're taking your calls and questions today on specifically investing during this segment of the broadcast. Mark Biller with us today talking about successful principles and factors for investing.
We've got lines open at 800-525-7000. As Mark shared before the break, really some of the keys are the items you can control. Number one is your financial foundation solid. Number two, how much are you saving, and could you boost that if you're looking to put more toward investing over time, more toward that compounding power of growing your wealth. Of course, avoiding taxes, using tax-deferred vehicles like IRAs and 401ks are really key as well.
Mark, what's next on the list? Yeah, that would be how long you save. So these examples we've been talking about, Rob, these compound interest investment growth type examples, they show us that these amazing things happen when you can leave money invested for a long period of time. So the obvious takeaway then is that we should start contributing to our investment accounts as early as possible, and if we can't do it at 12, like Azaria, the next best answer is today.
Regardless of what age we are right now, you're not going to have a better chance than right now, and as long a period as possible that we can keep that money working tax-deferred, that should be our goal. Yeah, that really is critical. That compounding effect is so powerful over a long period of time. All right, Mark, the next one has to do with our emotions, and boy, those were certainly in play last year as we saw the market volatility.
What do you have for us there? Yeah, absolutely, and that next factor is whether we let our emotions get the best of us. You know, it's unfortunate, but it's human nature that fear and greed tend to drive investor behavior. So as a result of that, investors tend to get too conservative after big bear markets. They get too aggressive after long bull markets, and the trick is trying to recognize these tendencies because it's really hard to know when to play it safe and when to take your foot off the brake again, and that's the type of thing that we're trying to help our members with at SoundMind Investing. You know, as an individual investor, I would say that making subjective emotional trading decisions is probably the biggest risk to most people's long-term success. They panic and, you know, sell at the bottom and then have a really hard time getting back in, and that's a pattern that we see over and over again. So we really try to encourage people to follow an objective, time-tested, rules-based strategy and develop a long-term plan because using some kind of a process-driven approach to investing is going to almost always lead to much better long-term results, and it's going to help you sleep better at night as well.
Yeah, that's really key. Mark, let's say somebody who's listening today determined that because they really felt anxious last year while the market was declining, and as a result, they've really determined that they were too aggressive. Maybe just because of that long bull market, they allowed their portfolio to be positioned in such a way that is too aggressive for their age and risk tolerance, but they're wondering, should I continue to ride it out and wait for it to come back before I make that change to a more conservative posture? Would you recommend that they wait it out and try to get some of the recovery, or if they've made that determination, should they just go ahead and cut their losses and make that change now?
Yeah, well, I think that that depends. For somebody who has already reduced their risk exposure, I would not be in a huge hurry to rush back in, and that is largely because of our view that we could still have some more headwinds this year. Now, for somebody who has not made changes and is debating whether they should today, that's a little trickier because, of course, you're making that change with the market down 20% from where it was a year ago, so you don't really want to go overboard on that defensiveness at this point, I would say, and this is the type of thing where we give very specific counsel along exactly how to do this in our Soundmind Investing newsletter and service, so it's hard.
As a general thing, I would advise against trying to really get cute with this on your own and trying to figure this out on your own because we're using a whole bunch of very mechanical, very extensively tested systems that give us confidence to go up and down with our allocations a little bit, and I would not encourage an individual to try to be as aggressive like that on their own because it just is really difficult to do without a mechanical system to support you in that. Well said. You can learn more at soundmindinvesting.org, but I think wise counsel is key, and that's what Mark's saying today. Let's head to the phones. Your question's for Mark Biller today to Chicago.
Hi, Frank. How can we help you? Yes, I had a question, and thanks for taking my call. Question is, we have quite a bit invested in the market. We had it up to almost a million dollars, and in the last year it dropped to 600-something thousand. Now it's back up, and my question is, should I take $47,000 out and pay for my house, pay it all off, it's a three percent interest, or keep the money in there, and then just let it ride?
Yeah. What do you have in this portfolio today, Frank? Right now it's at $865,000. All right, and are you living off of this money, or is this just money that's growing for the future? No, we are not living, we have not touched this money. It's growing for the future, and I have enough saved up for nine months of in the savings account, but I don't want to pull all that out to pay off the house, and I didn't know which way makes sense. And talk to me about just the non-financial side of this. As you and your wife talk about having the house paid off, is that something that you just really have a conviction about, as it would give you a lot of peace of mind, or could you guys go either way, and you're really okay just continuing to pay it on the schedule that you're on? Well, I want to do it within two years, because I retire in two years, and then, but we have seven years left on the house, but the thing of it was, she goes, well, do we pay it off, because if the market drops, then we're not losing money on $47,000. Yeah, yeah. He said, yeah, so.
Very good. Mark, what are your thoughts on this? Yeah, I think that it's a great goal to have your mortgage paid off when you retire. I think also that a three percent mortgage rate looks pretty attractive today, much more so even than, say, a year ago, because at this point, you can invest very conservatively and still expect to be earning yields in the three to four percent range. So that takes a little bit of the pressure off of the decision of, you know, paying the note off immediately, although I would not, you know, tell somebody they shouldn't do that if that's the route they want to go, especially close to retirement, because I do think it's a great goal to be debt-free at retirement, you know, so that's that's how I would would size that up.
Frank, Rob, what are your thoughts? Yeah, I would agree with that. I think, you know, all things being equal, if you all are willing to do that, you know, being equal, if you all are willing to wait this thing out, I'd probably let this account recover a bit more.
It could go down a bit more before it goes up, for sure. But if you and your wife would just feel better knowing your house is paid off and then you could just let this portfolio do what it's going to do with a much longer term perspective, then go for it. And perhaps you spread it over two tax years.
Maybe you take 50 percent of the balance this year and 50 percent next year, and that way you're not paying taxes on another $47,000 this year in one tax year. Hope that helps you, Frank. Appreciate your call today, sir.
God bless you. More with Mark Biller just around the corner. Stay with us. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.
I'm Rob Last, your host. With me, Mark Biller, executive editor at soundmindinvesting.org. Before we head back to the phones, we're working our way through a list of really some key factors for successful investing. We've covered a lot of ground today. One of the items we covered a moment ago, Mark, was really keeping your emotions in check. And this is really especially true as it relates to this next factor. Share that with us.
Yeah, sure. So that's whether you're playing the short term trading game versus the long term investing game. With the long term investing game, the way that you win that game is by plotting your strategy really carefully at the outset and then letting that strategy play out over time. That's very different from people who are trying to trade the short term moves of the market.
Totally different situation. So for the long term investor, this kind of short term news, the current hot things in the market, the expert opinions, those are largely irrelevant to long term investors. And that's the game we encourage most people to focus on. Yeah, that's really helpful. So we want to turn off those financial shows on TV and stop watching our portfolio online every day.
That's probably not going to work in our favor. All right. What's the last factor before we head back to the phones? So the last one is whose advice are you going to listen to? You know, is your strategy in sync with biblically based financial principles, or is it really more reflective of the conventional thinking that's offered by the secular investing world? And this is one where it's definitely your choice of whose counsel are you going to listen to. Yeah, really helpful. You want to read this entire list or learn more, you can check it out at soundmindinvesting.org.
And while you're there, click on the link to this article, eight key factors that determine your long term investing results. All right, let's take as many questions as we can between now and the end of the program. To Dayton, Tennessee, Ryan, I understand you have a testimony.
Go ahead, sir. Yeah, not really a question, just was going to bring up a statement that really worked for me in 2020. I was furloughed and had about 15 to 16 weeks to really dive into and try to figure out where do you start with all this, right?
Because there's so much noise that goes around. So there was a few things that really helped me out was fundamental analysis, you know, technical analysis, those things helped out quite a bit. Learning terms such as the trend is your friend. Volume predicts price, you know, BCA dollar cost averaging, you know, has been a big thing for me in 2021, because my profile was up here.
And then you start seeing your, you know, your your gains start to dwindle down and you're below what you you've got in the market at. And just, you know, really trying to focus in and do your own homework on these companies, because, you know, like, take Apple, nothing fundamentally really changed with Apple, it's still a fantastic company with a great balance sheet, great CEO, it's just subject to the macro environment. So sometimes you're right about the statements you have been making, blocking out the noise, and then just kind of doing your own research really worked out for me and I was blessed for it. Yeah, that's great.
By the way, if you didn't recognize some of the terms Ryan mentioned, I'd encourage you to pick up a great resource, the sound mind investing handbook that could be really helpful as you want to learn some of these things that Ryan has discovered as he's kind of dived into investing here. Mark, any reaction or thoughts on what you heard Ryan share? No, I think that's great. And you know, we were big proponents of trend following our strategies are based on those. That's one of the things Ryan highlighted. And I think that's great. You know, I think that the only thing I would add to that is that for some people, it's going to feel pretty overwhelming feeling like they need to do all of the things that Ryan is doing. And the good news is, is that there are ways to really simplify this process. And so that's one of the things we focus on in both the handbook that you mentioned, Rob, as well as in our service. So investing is the kind of thing that you can put in as much as you want.
You know, you can put in a lot of effort and a lot of time and energy. And then and that's great. And I do that and I love it.
But for some people who aren't wired that way, they're also simpler ways. And so that's what we're trying to make available for people as well. Yeah, that's really helpful. Ryan, thanks for sharing your story. We appreciate your call to Chicago.
Hi, Al, how can we help you? Yes, sir. As opposed to the trend is your friend. Before the internet bubble burst and a couple other real estate bubbles, I was going to buy a lot of gold at $300 an ounce. Do you think it's still worth it? And why do you not recommend buying the actual physical gold?
Yeah. Mark, your thoughts on how gold fits into your portfolio. And do you buy a tracking stock or do you take physical possession?
Yeah, I think that you can do either and can do both. We actually are favorable on buying the actual gold for people who want to do that. Now, of course, the downside with that is you pay a lot in transaction costs. So for people who are thinking about buying the actual physical gold, I would say that's for folks who are planning to buy the gold and hopefully never have to sell it. Some of our strategies use a little bit more of a tactical approach to gold where there are certain times in the market cycle where we want to be heavily exposed to gold and precious metals. And there are other parts of the cycle where we want our exposure to be a lot less. And so for people who want to change the level of their exposure like that, that's where some of these tracking stocks or ETFs can be really helpful because you can buy and sell those just like you would stocks or mutual funds.
So there's a place for both, I guess is what I'm saying there, Al. I love gold right here, actually. I think it's going to be a real, probably a real help to people through the duration of this bear market. I think that where we're at with the interest rate cycle, having had interest rates go up a lot last year and probably looking to peak somewhere in the near future.
And then if history is a guide, they tend to go back down as we have recessionary conditions. That tends to be very good for both bonds and gold. So our portfolios are pretty heavily exposed to both bonds and gold for this next year.
And I expect we're probably going to see pretty good performance from both of those. So Al, I would be encouraged if you're into gold. I think that this year is probably going to be a good year for that.
And I think there are a couple of ways you can approach it. Very good. Al, we appreciate your call today. Let's finish in Ohio. Lena, you'll be our final caller. Go ahead.
Hi. I had, we lost a lot of money when the market went down. Our investments, my husband had been investing for years since he got out of college. He did it right away and a significant amount. And we lost, I can't even, I mean, it was just a lot of money and upon me having a heart failure over all of this, I had our financial advisor, I told him we can't lose another dime because we've even gone into our principal.
And so we had him move everything to very conservative, we can't lose another dime. I am still working. My husband was sick. He got sick about eight years ago, ended up with a double lung transplant. He is not working.
So for eight years, there's not been any money being pushed into our retirement. He's well, he's looking to go back to work, but Lena, unfortunately I'm about out of time. What's your question today? How can we help you with where we go from here? Well, how long do we, when do we know when to move our money back to where we can see a gain?
I mean, I don't really see it happen until 2024, maybe. Was that the right move? Yeah, this is so challenging, Lena, because it really involves you taking more of a timing approach to the market instead of just a long-term perspective.
Mark, how would you counsel Lena? Yeah, it is tricky. You know, the markets are kind of an unfolding story.
And so to try to pinpoint way in advance how that unfolding story is going to play out is tough. If that is the kind of thing that you want to track as you go, I would just encourage you to follow along with us at soundmindinvesting.org. We write about the markets constantly all the time. A lot of that is free content that is outside of our paywall. So you can get a pretty good idea of what we're thinking about the markets even without paying for any of the content and the strategies that are behind the paywall. So that might be something of interest to those who want to follow along a little bit more closely.
Yeah. And I think the key here, Lena, is just to recognize that, you know, as long as your withdrawal rate is appropriate, and we would typically look at around 4%, hopefully no more than that, then you still have the ability to take a long-term perspective even in retirement. And so you're not worried about necessarily, you know, a quarter or a year or even a couple of years. You can look out over 5 or 10 years or 20 years. You know, if the Lord tarries and you're in good health, we need this money to last a long time. The key is to have the right allocation going in and then be willing to stay with that rules-based approach and then seek wise counsel along the way.
But again, as Mark said, Soundmind Investing could be really helpful if you really are trying to understand where the markets are at and where professionals think they're going from here. Thanks for your call today. Mark, appreciate you stopping by, my friend. Always great to have you. God bless you. Thanks, Rob. Always a pleasure.
All right. Mark Billers, executive editor at Soundmind Investing. You can learn more at soundmindinvesting.org. I have an amazing team here that allows me to do what I do every day. So grateful for Tahira Haynes, who managed our phone zone today, for Amy Rios, our producer, for Dan Anderson, our engineer, and for Robert Sutherland, providing Mark and me with great research today. So thankful you were along with us.
Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and Faith 5. Hope you'll come back and join us tomorrow. We'll be here to do it all over again. We'll see you then. Bye-bye.
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