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Is 2024 the time to ditch the 60/40 Portfolio? Blackrock is doing it...should you?

Season #2

A Time-Tested Strategy with a Twist

Hey there, friends! Today, let's chat about something that's been a bit of a Holy Grail in retirement investing – the famous 60/40 portfolio. Now, this isn't your grandma's knitting pattern; it's a strategy that in theory will stand the test of time, aiming to keep your retirement funds safer than a squirrel's stash of acorns.

The 60/40 Portfolio: A Quick Rundown

Imagine you're making a sandwich. Instead of peanut butter and jelly, you've got stocks and bonds. In a 60/40 portfolio, 60% of your investment sandwich is stocks (the peanut butter), and 40% is bonds (the jelly). Historically, this mix has been like the classic PB&J – reliable and satisfying. Stocks offer growth, while bonds bring stability, especially when the market throws a tantrum.

Why Has It Been a Go-To for So Long?

Picture this: stocks and bonds in a dance-off. When stocks take a step up, bonds might step back, and vice versa. This dance creates a balance that can help your investments stay steady when things get rocky. And let's face it, over the past 40 years, this portfolio has been like a trusty old tractor, plowing through market storms and keeping things running smoothly.

But Wait, There's a Twist!

Now, hold your horses! This strategy isn't flawless. Sometimes, stocks and bonds decide to dance together in the same direction, which can throw things off balance. Remember, just because something worked in the past doesn't mean it's a surefire win for the future. It's like expecting a sunny day forever just because it's been nice out for a while.

Adapting to Today's Economic Weather

We're now facing a new economic climate where the Federal Reserve is changing interest rates, and this changes the whole ballgame. When interest rates rise, bond values can drop like a hot potato and vice versta. So, what's an investor to do?

Reassessing the 60/40 Strategy

It's time to put on your thinking cap and reassess. Consider a portfolio that balances growth potential with capital preservation. Think about investments that are poised to do well in the current and future economic landscape. For instance, the U.S. economy is like a sturdy oak tree – it's got a good chance of thriving, no matter the weather.

The New Investment Recipe

Instead of sticking to the old 60/40 formula, consider mixing things up. Look at alternatives like preferred shares, which are kind of like a hybrid car – part stock, part bond, offering stability with potential growth. And don't forget to consider the impact of inflation. It's like making sure your winter coat is ready for a surprise snowstorm.

Wrapping It Up with a Bow

To sum it up, folks, navigating the investment world is like steering a boat through both calm and choppy waters. The 60/40 portfolio has been a trusted compass, but the winds are changing. It's crucial to reassess your strategy, keep an eye on economic trends, and make sure your investments align with your goals, risk tolerance, and the ever-changing economic landscape.

When considering strategies for navigating market volatility and protecting your retirement portfolio, the focus is on stability, inflation protection, and strategic growth. Here's a breakdown of how to approach this:

Investment Strategies for 2024

At Yields for You, here are some of the strategies we are taking to protect our clients. Remember that every strategy needs to be part of a greater plan. So, keeping that in mind...

1. Protect Your Base of Stability

  • Market Volatility Management: Recognize that market fluctuations are a part of investing. With recent declines, it's vital to have a strategy that allows you to endure these downturns without jeopardizing your retirement plans. This means having a sound Income Plan. Where are you going to take your income from? How will you invest it to ensure that you won't risk taking your money out in a market decline? Money Market and 1-2 year CDs are great for this right now. 

2. Inflation Protection

  • Inflation-Proof Investments: Incorporate assets that historically outpace or keep up with inflation. These might include treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS), money market funds, and certificates of deposit (CDs).
  • Balanced Returns: Aim for returns that exceed inflation rates while minimizing risk to your principal investment. Remember, the key to our lower-risk buckets is Capital Preservation...not growth. We want and need a steady source of Income!

4. Growth Strategy

  • Diversification: Ensure your portfolio is diversified across different asset classes, sectors, and geographies to spread risk.
  • Downside Protection: In retirement, the goal isn't necessarily high returns, but rather consistent, reliable growth that keeps pace with inflation and preserves lifestyle.
  • Value Investing: Consider dividend-paying stocks or value companies as they often provide steady income and may be less volatile.
  • Buffered Products: Explore buffered ETFs and Unit Investment Trusts (UITs), which can offer a mix of potential returns with some downside protection.
  • Structured Notes: Investigate structured notes for a more complex investment that can offer market participation with limited downside risk. They can also do things like provide returns regardless of the direction of the market. So, you get paid if the market goes up or goes down!
  • Market Linked CDs: As the name implies these are Bank CDs with a twist. In addition to the 100% principal protection. In addition to the FDIC insurance, you also get returns that can be greater than traditional CDs. The returns can be linked to one or more indices. This allows you to participate in the growth of the market...without risking your principal. Kind of the best of both worlds. It's the promise of annuities...without any of the costs or heavy surrender charges!

5. Mindful Risk Management

  • Avoid Overreach: In retirement, it’s not about chasing the highest returns but ensuring sustainable growth. Avoid the temptation to pursue overly aggressive strategies in hopes of outsized gains.
  • Regular Reviews: Periodically reassess your investment strategy to align it with current market conditions, your financial situation, and retirement goals. If you haven't updated your investment plan definitely will need to, the Fed is going to start cutting interest rates, which is going to reverse the trends of the last two years. Last year's winners could be tomorrow's losers. Are you positioned properly? Don't forget that we have an important Election this year and a lot rides on who will will be in office next year.

Key Takeaway

Your investment approach should balance the need to protect against market downturns and inflation while ensuring your portfolio can grow sustainably. This balance is crucial for maintaining a comfortable retirement lifestyle without taking unnecessary risks. Remember, the goal is steady, reliable growth, not chasing the next big investment windfall.

If you're looking to dive deeper into this topic and explore more strategies for a secure retirement, check out our upcoming classes or book a free call. We're here to help you sail smoothly in to the future.