The Best Investors Are Dead — Here’s What to Learn from Them

Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He’s not dead.
Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? How will they pay the bills? Send the kids through school? Now’s a good time to start planning for the future.
Apparently it’s a Wall Street urban legend. But hey, that doesn’t mean the point doesn’t still stand. As most people will tell you, the biggest things working on any investor’s side are time and patience. Trying to time the market, panic-selling or buying due to FOMO will almost never beat the returns of long-held investments.
In other words, dead people do better in the stock market than living people, and it’s because dead people aren’t always fiddling with their investment accounts the way living people do.
We asked Robin Hartill for some stock market advice. She’s a certified financial planner and financial advice columnist for The Penny Hoarder. She recommends budgeting a certain amount of money to invest each month, no matter what.
“The timing of your investment matters much less than how much time you have to invest,” Hartill says. “The cost of waiting for the perfect time to invest is high. You’re missing out on long-term growth.”

1. Buy and Hold

Hartill’s advice: The stock market will make you money if you give it time, so you might as well get started sooner rather than later.
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*For Securities priced over ,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at Dead investors are great at not overthinking things. They just plug right along and do their thing without any fuss. That’s why their investment portfolios perform so well.

2. Don’t Try to Time the Market

**You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash and the custodian.
Dead people know better than anyone: The passage of time is what matters most. That’s true when it comes to investing, too.
When it comes to investing, be like dead people. Don’t overthink things.
There are two kinds of dead investors: Dead people who had life insurance policies to help out the loved ones they left behind; and dead people who wish they’d had life insurance policies.

3. Get Life Insurance; Rates Start at Just $16/Month

Not sure where to start? It’s easy to set up auto-transfers so you can regularly invest with an app called Stash. It lets you choose from hundreds of stocks and funds to build your own investment portfolio. It makes it simple by breaking them down into categories based on your personal goals.
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4. Don’t Overthink Things

So, real or not, these dead investors are onto something. Here are four things dead people can teach us about investing:

Now, the only problem with this cool story is there’s no evidence it ever really happened. Google results turn up plenty of stories about this supposed “study” — but no actual study.
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You see, there’s this funny story that gets passed around on Wall Street. The way this story goes, one day, the chief bean counters at the financial giant Fidelity did this big study on what kinds of investors performed the best. And what they found out was, the accounts with the highest returns were classified as “dead or inactive.”
“The S&P 500 has delivered inflation-adjusted returns of about 7% per year on average for the past 50 years,” she said.
In other words, don’t try to time the market. It’s a fool’s errand to try to anticipate the various booms and crashes that the stock market will inevitably go through. Instead, start investing as early as possible, and focus on the long term.
When it comes to investing your money, dead people have the right idea.
Dead investors are the ultimate “buy and hold” investors — in this case, we mean that they just stay consistent. Dead people, as a rule, are really consistent in their behavior. <!–


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