How long is a long-term investment?
Conventional wisdom tells us that stocks tend to outperform government bonds in the long term. That is, if stocks are held long enough, they are usually better investments because their total return is likely to be higher than the return on bonds. While this view may be correct in principle, in practice a crucial question remains: How long is long enough? The answer is important to every investor, not just the wealthy few. With employers relying increasingly on defined-contribution retirement plans, employees must make their own saving and investment decisions. ; Shen reviews historical patterns to show investors how the riskiness of stocks and bonds can change as an investor’s holding period lengthens. First, she explains why stocks are generally considered riskier than government bonds and thus, on average, should pay higher rates of return to attract investors. She then shows why stocks, with their higher average rates of return, tend to perform better over sufficiently long holding periods. Next, she examines the historical patterns of stock and bond returns in the United States. She shows that sufficiently long has been very long relative to most people’s holding periods. Finally, she examines various holding periods in detail. She finds that, for many investors whose holding periods were not sufficiently long, risks for both stocks and bonds were quite high. She concludes that, historically, longer holding periods may have reduced the riskiness of stock investments but not bond investments. Further, for most individual investors, feasible holding periods have seldom been long enough to take full advantage of long-term stock investments.
Volume (Year): (2005)
Issue (Month): Q I ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: One Memorial Drive, Kansas City, MO 64198|
Phone: (816) 881-2254
Web page: http://www.kansascityfed.org
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Email: |
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedker:y:2005:i:qi:p:5-32:n:v.90no.1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (LDayrit)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.