So Buy-and-Hold has its flaws, but the alternative, which is trading is not much better. Empirically, trading has not help generated wealth. But before we come to some conclusion, let’s look at the usual Pros with regard to Buy-and-Hold.
1. Missing out the 10 biggest days in positive movement
Studies have shown that if you subtract the returns of the 10 biggest positive gain days in the past 20 yrs, your long term average annual return drops something like from 8%pa to 4%pa. This is major bcos suddenly you might as well go and buy 30 Yr Singapore Govt bonds and that could have given you close to 4%pa, without all the risks associated with stock market. Since we cannot predict which days will be the biggest positive gain days in advance, value investors argue that we should always buy and hold to reap the full benefits.
2. Transaction cost
This has come down over the years but still constitute 0.5% or more to most retail investors. Considering in Singapore where the minimal brokerage cost is S$20 per trade, you need to do a S$8,000 trade so that you can get the buy and sell costs to be 0.5% of your trade. Sadly it can only go as low as 0.25% bcos after that, the brokers charge based on the size of your trade. So let’s work with 0.5%. Most retail investors would probably do more than 1 buy-sell trade per year, let’s say they do 2. We know that average annual market return is 8% and two trade incur transaction costs of 1%. Congrats, you just gave your brokers a 12% commission. Every year. So Buy-and-Hold pls, save the transaction cost. Read more…