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Maintaining a long-term investing focus is simple but not easy. Plus, why surging bank stocks are still worth a look [Video]

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A long-term focus is essential for portfolio returns because of the magic of compounding – the gains from one year are added to the total and become part of the investing principal that (hopefully) grows the next year.

That seems straightforward, but, using Warren Buffett terms, in practice it’s “simple but not easy.” As venture capitalist and finance author Morgan Housel noted in How to Do Long Term, it’s analogous to standing at the bottom of Mount Everest as indicating the peak as the end destination. Thinking long-term is a goal that takes constant and significant effort.

Mr. Housel provides useful perspective to help investors keep their financial end goals in sight. His first recommendation is that investors recognize that a long term outlook requires “[enduring] a neverending parade of nonsense.”

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Another term for nonsense here is “market noise” – fixations and punditry on events and trends that have little or no bearing on decade-long equity …