Fox Business’ Liz Claman: Having a Balanced Portfolio Isn’t the Best Strategy Anymore

©Liz Claman

Liz Claman is the anchor of “The Claman Countdown” on Fox Business Network, where she has interviewed some of the top names in investing and business, including Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Prior to joining Fox Business, Claman served as an anchor at CNBC. She is the recipient of two Emmy Awards.

Recognized by GOBankingRates as one of Money’s Most Influential, here she shares the best investments for beginners, why focusing on having a balanced portfolio is “dated” advice and the old investing rule of thumb that stands the test of time. 

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What advice would you give your younger self about investing?

Start earlier! The minute you get your first job — even if you’re a teenager working at a summer camp or developing film at a photoshop making minimum wage (that was my first job). Set aside even just a tiny bit — 5% — and start buying shares in an S&P index fund, which tracks the 500 stocks in that index, or stock in a company you admire. One share at a time.

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What is the best thing you did to boost your own portfolio?

Dollar-cost averaging. Years ago I set a fixed amount to be auto-debited each month from my paycheck to go directly to my portfolio managed by my financial advisor. Each month, no matter what the market is doing, he buys stock in companies he feels are real winners.

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When it comes to investing for the long term, what should people focus on?

All the experts talk about a “balanced portfolio” — some stocks, some bonds, gold… I think that’s a dated view. Over time, the stock market paid investors better than most investments. Since 1930, the S&P has returned an average of 9.7% annually. Now, keep in mind that some years were way better, and others, like the financial/housing crash of 2008 when the S&P lost 37% of its value, have been way worse. But lately, personal investment experts say that over time​, buying quality companies with good management should be the greater part of a portfolio. Yes, bonds can give you downside protection, but unless you’re in your later years and need to preserve your savings, quality stocks are a good bet. Keep in mind, though, the stock market is a casino. Everything is a bet. And sometimes in betting, you lose. Never bet more than you can afford to lose.

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What is the biggest mistake people make when it comes to investing?

Buying at the top. Warren Buffett says, “Be greedy when others are fearful, and be fearful when others are greedy.” He means that when the market is imploding due to outside factors — the start of a war, a housing crash, a pandemic — that’s precisely when everything is on sale. He has his shopping list of companies, but if the market is roaring higher, he waits. But when that moment comes — the crash of March 9, 2009 or March 23, 2020, both market lows during crises where everyone’s fleeing and selling because they’re frightened — he pulls out that list because there’s a big “30% off!” sign on a lot of names of great companies. It’s the oldest stock market saying: Buy low!

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Jaime Catmull contributed to the reporting for this article.

Last updated: April 21, 2021

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About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 
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