Quite a few Americans automatically associate the strength of the stock market with the strength of the overall economy. While this isn’t necessarily untrue, it remains important for investors to remember that the ebbs and flows of Wall Street don’t necessarily correlate with the soundness of retirement plans, savings, or even many long-term investments. In fact, some financial experts stress the importance of resilience for retirement planners—especially in the midst of uncertain times in the stock market.
Curtis Ray is the CEO and President of SunCor Financial, an Arizona-based financial and retirement planning company. Ray advises all of his clients to take advantage of the magical math of compound interest to generate extreme wealth over time. His book, “The Lost Science of Compound Interest,” explores these mathematical concepts in-depth to give readers a nuanced look into the power of compound interest investing.
Ray has been cautious of the tendency of some retirement planners to associate the success of the stock market with the viability of their investment-based plans. In his view, investment plans should utilize compound interest-bearing accounts to build wealth organically over an extended period of time. Even a small amount of money invested at a young age can build into retirement-worthy savings if it’s left to grow over decades. With this savings philosophy in mind, the ups and downs of the overall stock market ultimately become meaningless to the long-term safety of an investment.
Curtis was recently quoted in a Forbes article concerning this position. He explained that safe investing is ultimately a question of how much capital investors can put into a “secure place” where time can “enhance the compound interest inside.” This finances expert believes that the successes and failures of the overall market are ultimately just distractions from a truly solid long-term retirement investment plan. Real success comes from the combination of secure savings and compound interest, which exponentially grows over time.
At the end of the day, the singular retirement saver has no control over the state of the overall stock market. However, a savvy investor can work to offset even the most devastating blows to the market by allowing time and compound interest to do the work for them. Ray Curtis maintains that long-term retirement savings plans are ultimately an endurance test—not a race. A consistent, unrelenting investment and savings plan utilizing compound interest appropriately will eventually outpace a high-risk plan reliant on the success of the stock market.
In these times of political and social uncertainty, fluctuations in the state of the stock market have never been more common and likely. Because of this, investors should be acutely aware of how their retirement plans are influenced by the numbers in the larger market of Wall Street. The way retirement planning experts like Curtis Ray see it, a wise investor will pay little or no heed to the big red and green numbers on the stock market. The real numbers of value are tucked away in secure, interest-bearing accounts. And these numbers will continue to climb with time—no matter what happens in the stock market.