Long term investment is buying and holding an asset for a longer term
Whether you are a beginner investor or an experienced investor who is looking to adopt further knowledge in identifying the best long-term investments, take a look as we explore the best and available options all investors should consider when looking to invest for the future.
Table of Contents
- Top Long-Term Investments
- A Strong Point to Consider
- Positives of Long-Term Investing
- Strategies to Adapt into Long-Term Investing
- Choosing Long-Term Stocks
- Best Long-Term Investment Options
- The Bottom Line
Top Long-Term Investments
A common goal amongst many investors is to become wealthy, and realistically one of the best and advised ways in archiving this goal is by investing in long-term investments.
Despite the challenges that 2020 and 2021 is bringing to many as the economy is in slow recovery, it is advised to hang tight and focus on investing in long-term investments, as looking ahead these investments can provide a comfortable future.
Whilst short-term trading is still popular across the board and holds many positives, it is long-term investing where regular investors look to seek and build wealth and by investing in such investments for the long-term (generally over one year or more) enables investors to reach their financial goals, along with increasing financial security.
Especially now more than ever in such challenging times, long-term investing has become a saviour.
There are a variety of different ways that investors can seek to invest their money in today, and suiting each investor's individual needs. From the safe form of a Certificate of Deposit (CD) to High-yield savings accounts which are designed more for short-term investing. Nonetheless, these two forms of investing offer good returns with CD’s especially for the long-term outlook.
Then you have investments such as corporate bonds, ETF’s (Exchange-Traded Funds) and more which hold moderate risk elements but are extremely popular amongst both beginner and experienced investors today.
Lastly, you have the ultimate growth stocks which are ideal for long-term investment but do hold strong risk elements as they can be extremely volatile.
Having briefly mentioned the above options you can look to have a mixture of these various investment types within your portfolio offering you the perfect amount of diversity.
A Strong Point To Consider
Although investing in long-term investments can be a rewarding and exciting path to undertake, you have to understand and be realistic of the challenges and risk elements that you may be faced with along the way in following your financial dreams.
As previously mentioned, within investing it is a known fact that to gain higher returns comes hand in hand with high-risk exposure. For example, if you look at investments such as CD’s that have low yields yet offer great security they will not give you the same returns as investing in growth stocks that offer much higher returns but who hold high-risk factors with high volatility.
Inevitably it all comes down to the investors' needs and if they are willing and able to participate in such activity.
Although investing in stocks can be extremely volatile it is not usual for stocks to outperform.
Take the leading tech stock Apple (AAPL) who surged to great highs during 2020 pushed on through the pandemic. On the same hand, take a look at the Index Fund NASDAQ who hit record new highs in 2020, pushed on by having some of the biggest and best-performing stocks on the market today rose by almost 45% in a single year.
If you can hold the ability to invest within these higher-risk investments looking to achieve higher returns, you also need to be firm and not to panic when the going gets tough as we have witnessed over the past year and in previous years.
Keeping firm and not making hasty moves that include selling your investments is advised. As this could potentially be your biggest financial mistake, especially when you witness that stock gaining strong momentum after its patch of uncertainty.
The true fact is the longer you ride out an investment the lower the risk elements, as time enables you to ride through the ups and downs that inevitably confirms the outcome. Keeping hold of an investment for at least three to five years will be more beneficial than just for the year as advised the best returns come over time and not in the short term.
Before we jump straight into looking at the best long-term investments, below are a few further points to look at closely:
- Positives of long-term investing
- Strategies to adapt into long-term investing
- Choosing long-term stocks
Positives Of Long-Term Investing
Investing for the long-term can bring many positives and subsequently it all leads to gaining wealth as investments strengthen over time.
Other solid reasons as to why long-term investing is beneficial include being more cost-effective as you will not be paying continuous trading fees, you can correct investment mistakes easier and one of the most important factors is it is less riskier as opposed to investing for the short-term.
Lastly one of the most vital important elements with long-term investing is that time is on your side.
When conducting your initial research into the best long-term investments this is the most time consuming part of the process as you will analyse and evaluate every detail before investing. But once this part of the process is done and you are happy with your chosen choice, the only part of your time you will spare moving forward on your investments is by checking in on your accounts from time to time to monitor progression.
Strategies To Adapt Into Long-Term Investing
The key to a successful long-term investment journey is held within a few key points, points which are crucial when considering or beginning your investing journey.
- Invest as early as possible. The first point to mention is to invest as soon as you have made the decision and picked your chosen investments. Believe it or not there is no such thing as the perfect moment to start your journey within the investment world, but the sooner you enter the quicker and closer you are at hitting your financial goals.
- Strongly consider diversification. The expression not tying all your eggs into one basket works the same within the investment world. Having a collection of investments is strongly advised which could include stocks, real estate, bonds and more.
Also factor into the equation investing across various markets both nationally and internationally as well as Emerging markets. By investing in various different places this gives you a range of diversity along with a stronger safety net if anything detrimental had to happen.
- Rebalance your investment plan. It is important to rebalance your investments within your portfolio as you move on over time. The main reason for this is to realign the weightings of your assets. For example, say you have a target allocation of 50% stocks and a 50% bonds, over time if your stocks have performed well they will increase and take more of the room of the percentage which could leave 70% in stocks, heightening the risk element in your portfolio. An investor may then decide to sell some of their stocks and buy more bonds to go back to the original allocation of the 50% split.
- Be prepared to ride the ups and downs, stay invested. One key trait that long-term investors have to adopt is patience, along with being prepared to ride through the ups and downs. Having stocks within your investment plans is a great choice, however, markets do not always move in one direction and do have their moments in declining. Those moments can happen quickly but as history has confirmed they may only be short lived as global markets deliver strong returns over the long-term period.
- Try not to overthink and not to listen to small noise. In challenging times or when stock markets are reacting negatively, this can cause many to speculate what is going to happen moving forward. One of the strong points that any investor should not look at doing is starting to panic and read too much into what is being said and getting caught up in the moment. As advised declines do happen within the market it is a natural occurrence, typically short as they move on to archive returns or sometimes higher returns than what they saw previously. To conclude it is worth sounding out any noise and riding the storm of volatility. But be rest assured that of course this is easier said than done.
Choosing Long-Term Stocks
If stocks are a long-term investment of interest, then you may wonder how you go about choosing individual stocks and how to know if they are looking good in the long-term outlook.
There are a number of various factors to look at when picking out stocks of interest which include looking at various metrics such as P/E ratio, looking at the stocks ROE ratio and seeing how consistent the stock is with its earnings and revenue growth. Let's take a closer look into some of the key factors to consider when choosing stocks as a long-term investment.
- Does the company innovate or have the potential to do so? A good first step is to look if a stock can or is seeking to innovate moving forward as ultimately this is what is going to bring in stronger revenue. Especially as the world becomes more competitive and new company’s come through with strong products.
- Look at the size of the company. It may be clear to some but looking at stocks with a mid to large market capitalisation is going to provide more stability and hold less volatility than of smaller cap stocks. This is because they are more established and can grow faster as they have the brand power and the networking backing in order to further grow.
- Look at the Return on Equity (ROE). Another golden rule when looking at choosing a long-term stock is looking at ROE. Ultimately all investors' aims are to seek returns, so by looking at companies who have a consistent high ROE will create value for its shareholders. Realistically if a company has a past history of a low ROE this will not look to change straight away.
- Take a closer look at a stocks P/E ratio. The price to earnings ratio (P/E) is an important metric to look at as it enables investors to see if a stock is indeed under or overvalued. If the stock holds a high P/E ratio this signifies that its share price is expensive in relation to its earnings. A P/E ratio is calculated by dividing the share price by the earnings per share. For example, if a stock's share price is $30 and its earning per share is $5 then its P/E ratio will be 6.
If a stock is undervalued based on its P/E ratio, and when you dig further into a stock fundamentals this can confirm if the stock has more potential to give than where it is currently sitting at.
- Consistent in growth. Looking at a stock's revenue returns along with its earnings is a solid golden rule when looking at the long-term outlook, including if a stock is a dividend payer looking to see if the stock has been successful in delivering its payouts over time. This will evidence if a stock is in a good financial position and has the potential to continue to gain looking ahead.
- Look at the Macroeconomic conditions. The last point to mention is to look at elements of what the economy is doing. Macroeconomics factors include inflation, unemployment levels and more which will all factor into the best stocks to invest in across global markets. Microeconomics on the other hand only relates to individuals' stocks behaviour.
Now we have looked at the most important factors to consider before investing for the long-term, let's take a look into the best long-term investment options available.
Best Long-Term Investments Options:
- Stocks & Growth Stocks
- Index Funds
- Dividend Stocks
- Target-date Fund
- Savings accounts/CDs
- Real Estate
The list of 12 long-term investment options offers a diverse range from stocks to collectables all tailored upon each investor's needs.
Stocks & Growth Stocks
As we have spoken highly on these long-term investments, stocks have come in first on the list.
- Investing in stocks represents ownership in a profit-generated company.
- Little management is involved.
- You can invest in both national and international stocks.
- You can create a diverse portfolio set across various industries and markets.
- You can buy and sell as quickly and easily as you wish. However, remember that to gain wealth it is strongly advised to buy and keep for the long-run.
- Strong rise in value over the long-term.
Although there are many positives of investing in these rewarding assets they still hold strong high-risk factors and can be extremely volatile, meaning that as quickly as you seek to place money into these investments the quicker you can look at losing it. One of the best ways to ensure more security is to analyse and identify the best quality stocks on the market and to keep investing in them.
When you look at the average return on stocks based on the leading index S&P 500 the average annual return comes out around 10% per year. When you accumulate this figure over this index's long-reign of almost 70 years, this means that the index has produced strong returns despite significant challenges such as depressions, stock market crashes and more confirming that stocks do hold well in the long-run despite setbacks.
A prime example of an individual growth stock on the market today is Tesla Inc (TSLA). The company has grown significantly over recent years and has been pushed on hugely through 2020 with the strong drive for an eco-friendlier environment.
TSLA’s shares increased to under 800% in 2020 and dominated its marketspace with 80% holdings. Looking ahead, analysts have predicted a 350% stock rise by 2025. This stock is a great example of a long-term investment, its innovation to produce new products placed within an evolving industry.
On these points alone, we believe all investors should strongly consider adding stocks as long-term investments to their portfolio or investment plan. Using the popular buy-and-hold strategy that many long-term investors have adopted, will no doubt continue to bring consistent positive results in years to come.
If you are looking to add stocks to your long-term investing plan and you wish to brush up on your skills by looking to find the best stocks to invest in 2021, read Top 21 Stocks to Buy in 2021 where you have a collection of 21 of the best stocks on the market today that are holding up as great long-term investments.
A popular and safer form of investing than stocks are investing in Index Funds.
Index Funds are also a go-to choice for billionaire businessman Warren Buffet. Buffet believes that in challenging times index funds can look at delivering more solid returns than other investment options.
Advantages of investing in Index Funds:
- Maximising broader diversification, lowering the risk element within your portfolio.
- Strong and positive returns.
- A low-cost way to invest.
- An easy way to track the overall health of the market.
- Great growth prospects.
An index fund is basically an index which is made up of a collection of stocks, for example, the leading Standard & Poor’s 500 Index Fund (S&P500) which has over 500 companies within its index and the tracking Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (VTSMX).
The way Index funds operate is that they are designed to give investors market exposure with a collection of stocks or bonds designed to the performance of a financial market index with the benefits of a lower portfolio turnover and lower operating fees.
With a low turnover rate, a safer security net ideal for the long-term outlook and most suitable for retirement savings, index funds are a great addition to all investors' portfolios. Investors should strongly consider adding at least one index fund to their collection.
Check Out: Top FTSE 100 Stocks To Buy
Just like stocks and growth stocks, dividend stocks are a great addition when it comes to long-term investing and for obvious reasons. The main reason is the fact that these stocks offer a passive income stream.
Advantages of investing in dividend stocks:
- Generate a passive income stream paid out quarterly or annually in the form of a dividend.
- Dividend stocks reduce overall risk and volatility elements within your portfolio.
- Great growth prospects as companies seek to grow and expand.
- Add diversity to your portfolio.
In comparison to stocks dividend stocks are like the second runners up in a race, meaning that stocks are the overall winners but in second place dividend stocks are still as good and have their own benefits. In this case, it is that they can provide solid returns but at a lesser and higher speed with dividend payouts given either quarterly or annually.
This form of investing is safer in comparison to stocks yet you can earn more than in comparison to certain bonds, leaving this form of long-term investing very popular amongst the older generation and in particular older companies. The reason for this is because they provide a safer form of investing when looking ahead to retirement, yet these investments are becoming more popular with the younger generation today.
When looking at dividend stocks taking into account a stocks dividend yield is one of the most important factors, as this will confirm how much income you are likely to look to receive, of course, factored in with the companies earnings. The higher a dividend yield the higher the income that you will receive.
Dividend stocks hold their own risk elements that should not be overlooked, for example, if a company falls short on their revenue, don’t forget that they will have strong liabilities to payout so it can leave some dividend-paying companies to cut their payouts.
But overall these stocks are a great and safe long-term investment for both beginner and experienced investors offering strong diversity along with a bonus passive income stream.
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A dividend reinvestment plan or DRIP as it is commonly referred to is a plan which allows investors to reinvest and purchase more stock within a company instead of obtaining the cash dividend payouts.
Advantages of investing in DRIPs
- Flexible nature to allow investors to invest as much or as little as they wish.
- Company-operated DRIPS are commission-free as no broker is needed.
- An investor can increase ownership in the long-term at a low cost.
If you are an investor who is seeking to add dividend stocks to your long-term investment plan, you may wish to consider adding a DRIP into your collection too. As for the benefits for an investor, you will be able to obtain quarterly payouts from your chosen dividend stocks whilst you will also be able to reinvest back a company with your DRIP investment.
Exchange-Traded Funds or ETFs as they are more commonly referred to are a basket of securities that track indexes, index funds, bonds and more whilst they trade on an exchange the same as stocks.
Advantages of investing in ETFs:
- Cost-effective as they hold low management fees and are less costly than investing in individual stocks.
- A single transaction to have multiple stocks.
- Trading flexibility as ETFs are traded throughout the day.
- Easy exposure to a variety of stocks across global markets.
- Portfolio diversity.
ETFs have become significantly popular over recent years, for a lot of reasons. The main reason being their low costs in comparison to other long-term investments and one in particular, mutual funds. Secondly, these funds allow investors to have exposure to many stocks spread across various industries offering a lower risk factor.
One of the best performing ETFs over the past year is Direxion Daily Retail Bull 3X Shares (RETL) which has returned 97.79% over the past year, confirming it to be one of or if not the best ETF performer in 2020. The performing ETF seeks a return of 300% of the performance of the S&P Retail Select Industry Index which holds performing holdings such as Guess, Gamestop - Class A and Sportsmans War.
Another factor that investors should strongly consider is that you can also invest in Index-based ETFs, which are an even better form of investing, especially for the long-term outlook. These include:
- Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO)
- Fidelity ZERO Large Cap Index (FNILX)
- SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY)
- SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA)
If you are an investor who is looking to keep costs low, develop a strong exposure to the array of different stocks set across various industries and across global markets, then EFTs are a go-to as one of your long-term investments.
Target-date funds or TDFs are funds that consist of a mix of mutual funds and or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). TDFs are structured to grow assets to hit a certain time frame, hence the ‘target-date’.
Advantages of investing in target-date funds:
- Target funds periodically rebalance assets to archive higher returns and optimise risk elements.
- Target-date funds enable investors to sit comfortably within one vehicle and allow them to run their course without much involvement.
- Diversity to a growing portfolio.
Like all the other long-term investments to grace this list, target-date funds are an ideal investment when looking ahead at retirement options as this fund allows you to choose a specific year for your fund to end or aim for, for example, if you wish to retire in 2055 you can pick a target date 2055 fund.
A great example of a target-date fund is that of the Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 Fund (VTTVX). This fund has a 60% balance in stocks and 40% in bonds with 35% of assets to the Vanguard Total Stock Market. VTTVX has great opportunity to gain higher returns than other respected TDFs like the Vanguard Target Retirement 2065 Fund. As VTTVX holds less risk as there are fewer stocks in comparison allowing a stronger fixed income to come through.
Be mindful that all investments hold their own risk factors and TDFs are no different. Just as things change over time, so do investing needs, and these investments, although beneficial offer little room for change.
To start in simpler terms a bond or bonds are fixed income instruments that represent a loan for an investor to give to a borrower, similar to an I.O.U. Bonds have an official deadline date for when the debt should be paid in full and they usually include variables of fixed interest payments. Bonds are typically designed and used for companies, states and sovereign governments to fund projects and operations.
Advantages of investing in bonds:
- Bonds are less volatile and less riskier investments providing more safety than stocks.
- Bonds perform well when stocks decline, as interest rates fall bond prices will rise.
- Interest rates tend to be higher than of various other saving accounts including CDs and money market accounts.
- Add strong diversity to your portfolio.
- Can perform well in the long-term as they mature and proven to be consistent.
There are four primary different categories of bonds that you can invest in which include:
- Corporate bonds - issued by private companies.
- Municipal bonds - issued by states and municipalities.
- Government bonds - more noticeably issued by the U.S Treasury or known as a collective as treasuries.
- Agency bonds - issued by government-affiliated organisations.
From the list above, whilst all offer great benefits to an investor looking to invest for the long-term, the most popular and safest are treasury and savings bonds as these are backed heavily by the U.S government, whilst they grow as the market fluctuates.
With savings bonds at the end of the year you will be able to make the choice if you wish to keep your bonds or if you wish to relocate to bank certificates of deposits.
It is also worth noting that savings bonds are not tradable and are commonly referred to as nonmarketable.
Then when you look at how well The Bloomberg Barclays U.S Aggregate Bond Index performed within the challenging year of 2020, it fared well with an annual return of 7.51%. Whilst from a stock front the leading stock S&P 500 Index gained an annual return of 15.76% in 2020.
With these results, then take into consideration that the lowest return that Barclays Aggregate has ever hit back in 1991 at -2.92% in comparison to the S&P 500 Index with a low of -37%, confirms just how much safer bond investments can be. They also hold their highest return of 33% in comparison to S&P 500 highest return of 37.58% which is not far behind.
Although the returns on bonds are typically a lot less than of stocks, around 5% annually, they are still a safer form of long-term investments that offer great returns.
A savings account and a Certificate of Deposit (CD) are very similar in ways. A savings account is a type of deposit account that you find at banks that pays interest on your savings. These accounts are also deemed to be fairly liquid meaning that you can access your money as and when you need to.
A certificate of deposit (CD) works similar in the sense that it is another saving vehicle that allows you to deposit monies into a bank or credit union, but the main difference stands that you have to keep your money committed to your account for a certain amount of time.
Similarities and advantages of savings accounts and CDs:
- Low-risk investments.
- A good place to place your money in both short-term and long-term although you can seek higher returns in other long-term investments.
- A safe investment.
- Some liquidity, enabling you to release money as and when you need.
In such a challenging year it can also be challenging to find the right saving account on the market, as it was confirmed that the national return on savings accounts over the year was 0.05%. But one clear factor to consider is that there are some great online savings accounts not to be missed with some paying APY rates at their highest of 0.81%.
Here are three online saving accounts to consider today:
- Marcus: by Goldman Sachs - APY 0.50%
- Capital One 360 Performance Saving Account - APY 0.40%
- American Express High Yield Savings Account - APY 0.40%
As far as a safer investment goes, CDs are a great choice as they offer low-risk factors and are guaranteed to earn a certain rate, so long as you commit to holding your investment for the long-run. Aside from the traditional CD, there are also other options which are offered through financial instructions such as jumbo CDs, bump-ups, no penalty and more but all CDs normally hold a duration range of between 5 months leading up to five years.
Investing in real estate has been an investors' favourite for many years, as it has proved to be a perfect long-term investment.
Investing in real estate can be extremely profitable, especially in the long-term as assets appreciate in value over time. Secondly, investing in real estate also gives investors a passive and steady income stream when it comes to rental properties.
Advantages of investing in real estate:
- Steady income stream.
- Long-term financial security.
- Significant profits to be made.
- Portfolio diversity.
As interest rates sit in attractive positions, this draws in investors attention quicker than you can say go. Investors can look to seek to borrow money from the bank in forms of mortgages allowing the rental payments to cover the mortgage repayments, leaving any additional available money each month set for the investor. Although on the back of this, this income will need to be factored into the equation for any management of maintenance fees.
While the benefits can be extremely rewarding with investing in real estate, it can also draw high-risk elements including lack of diversification and the risk of assets losing money. If all of your money is held up in one asset and if you are unable to find a tenant with an outstanding mortgage to pay, this can become costly.
However, if you invest wisely and spread your wings over time, this route can be one of the most rewarding and attractive long-term investment paths that investors seek to go down.
An Individual Retirement Account or an IRA is an account directly aimed to plan for your retirement by saving and investing.
Advantages of investing in an IRA:
- A powerful savings tool for saving for the future.
- Guaranteed savings once you invest.
- Provide tax and income benefits.
Aside from the traditional IRA, you also have various other IRA accounts to be able to choose from depending on your individual needs these include Roth IRAs, Rollover IRAs, Inherited IRAs and more.
A traditional IRA enables an investor to have no income limitations and withdrawals will be taxed like income during retirement. One of or if not the most popular and commonly used IRA is the Rollover IRA which is commonly used to hold 401(k) and 403 (k) assets.
The purpose for this IRA is to allow individuals to transfer assets from one IRA to another without any penalties and keeping a hold of the tax-deferred status of their investments along the way. The Rollover 401(k) is funded by pre-tax employee contributions.
Meanwhile, you also have Roth IRA which works on a non-tax-deductible basis which enables contributions to be made with no tax deductions. Roth IRAs do have income limitations and lastly you are able you withdraw funds both tax and penalty-free if you are over 59 years of age and 6 months as long as the account is over 5 years old. But the Roth 401(k) enables employees to contribute after-tax funds which is one of the clear differences between the two.
Additional contribution plans to consider:
- SEP IRAs - these are designed for self-employed individuals and small businesses.
- SIMPLE IRAs - designed for companies with 100 employees or less.
- 403 (b) and 457 plans - offered to employees of non-profit organisations such as government agencies, public and educational institutes and charitable organisations.
The saying that gold preserves wealth is a saying that stands true to form. Although investing in gold is one that many investors' overlook when it comes to investing for the long-term. But it does, however, stand well in challenging times and it may wish to be a route for you to consider.
Advantages in investing in gold:
- A strong global market for gold and can hold well in challenging times.
- It is easy to buy and sell coins.
- Owning gold can act as a hedge against inflation.
- Adds diversification to your collection of investments.
Over the years gold has fluctuated and risen significantly. Within the 1970s gold had a great year before declining hugely. Then you come to more recent years in the 1990s where gold averaged around $270 per ounce, whereas in March 2021 prices peaked to $1,726 per ounce.
Some may confirm this increase is due to bear market conditions, whilst others deem this to be untrue as throughout many years gold has always fluctuated. Nonetheless gold has been a long-term investment that many investors seek to keep hold of.
How to invest in gold:
- Buying physical pieces of gold.
- Invest in some of the leading gold stocks on the market which include Barrick Gold (GOLD), Franco-Nevada (FNV) and an ETF in SPDR Gold Trust (GLD).
Don't Miss: Gold Price Predictions
One of the last forms of long-term investing to come on the list is investing in collectables.
Collectables are objects of some kind that are classified as rare objects that have and can continue to appreciate in value. These items can come in many forms such as jewellery, paintings, pottery, the list is endless. Whilst these items can be exchanged in antique stores, auctions, online exchanges and more spread across the globe.
The Bottom Line
Investing for the long-term is a great way to build wealth over time no matter which route an investor chooses to go down.
Having a diverse collection of stocks mixed with bonds could be a great way to plan for your retirement. Having said that, ETFs and index funds are also becoming a safer yet popular form of long-term investing.
Recommended takeaway factors is to take your time in picking which way or ways of investing for the long-term is going to suit you best. Then look at considering having that diversity within your portfolio to reduce the high-risk elements and lastly also try your best not to obsess and drown out unnecessary noise from the market's daily fluctuations.
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