I was watching TV the other night, when a commercial came on that had me shaking my head in disbelief. Watch the ad below and see if you can see why I find it so incredible that this is currently airing all over TV…
No, it’s not that these nice “near-retirement” couples are using John Hancock to manage their money. I’m sure they’re as good as any other financial advisor. What really got to me is the sentiment of the commercial.
That these couples are just now coming out of their shells and thinking about getting back in the markets? And John Hancock is claiming “You’re not alone”?! I hate to break it to everyone involved, but you seem to be a little slow on the uptake! If you got out of stocks during the great recession and are just getting back into the market now, you’ve missed out on (most of) one of the strongest bull markets in history.
The S&P 500 has returned over 160% over the past five years, and at the time of this writing has been flirting with new all-time highs almost daily. So those couples in the commercial are doing it all wrong, they’re getting back in at the top of the market, and I’m sure they’ll be selling off and running for the hills near the lows of the next recession. I’d also hope that their John Hancock advisors would have fought to get them back into the market near it’s lows, but something tells me that would have been a real tough sell to most investors if the advisor was keen enough to even pitch the suggestion to them.
The fact that people are prone to selling low and buying high is bad enough, but when the firms that are supposed to be looking out for those people and managing their money better than the people can themselves start advertising with that same bad logic, it doesn’t work out well for anyone. It’s just one of the many reasons I think people should manage their own money and not worry about trying to get in and out when the market is up or down. Just keep investing, and stay invested and you’ll do better than the majority. If you’re like the couples in the ad above and still have your money sitting on the sidelines, open up an E*Trade account today and get started.