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Stock market rally: why I’d invest today to achieve financial freedom

Peter Stephens
·3-min read
Businessman leading a chart upwards
Businessman leading a chart upwards

The past performance of equities suggests that a long-term stock market rally is likely to happen. After all, indices such as the FTSE 100 and S&P 500 have recorded annualised total returns in the high-single digits over recent decades. And this is despite them experiencing challenging periods along the way.

Even though many shares have made gains following the 2020 stock market crash, a number of companies continue to trade at low prices. As such, buying them today and holding them ahead of a sustained bull market could increase an investor’s chances of obtaining financial freedom.

A long-term stock market rally

The prospect of a long-term stock market rally may seem unlikely to some investors at the moment. After all, there are many risks out there. Think political instability in Europe and a weak global economic outlook that could crimp company performance and investor sentiment.

However, the past performance of the stock market shows that it has always overcome short-term threats to post impressive returns over the long run. Furthermore, the global economy is expected to recover sharply over the coming years following present challenges. Significant monetary policy stimulus has already been announced in major economies. So the prospects for many businesses could improve dramatically over the long run. This may allow them to command higher valuations that have a positive impact on an investor’s financial outlook.

Buying cheap stocks today

Despite a likely stock market rally over the long run, many shares currently trade at cheap prices. Investor sentiment is relatively cautious, which is understandable after what was a very challenging 2020. Many investors continue to demand wide discounts to the intrinsic values of companies in industries where operating conditions are tough. For example, banking, energy and consumer goods shares currently trade on valuations that could undervalue their long-term recovery prospects.

Buying a diverse range of cheap stocks could lead to high returns in the long run. They may be able to outperform the wider stock market, since their prices are starting from a low level. Share valuations have historically reverted to their long-term averages in the past following bear markets. This means a similar outcome could lift the prices of today’s cheap shares in a stock market rally.

Achieving financial freedom

Clearly, achieving financial freedom through buying shares will take a long time. That is even the case with a likely stock market rally in the coming years. However, an investor can enjoy an improving financial situation in the long run. They can do so even if they obtain only the same return as the stock market has delivered in the past.

For example, assuming an 8% annual return on a £500 monthly investment, it is possible to build a portfolio valued at around £1m over a 35-year time period. By investing money in today’s cheap shares, it may be possible to beat that rate of return and build an even larger portfolio over the same period.

The post Stock market rally: why I’d invest today to achieve financial freedom appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Motley Fool UK 2021