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The Top Investment Quotes Every Investor Should Know



This infographic is available as a poster.

Investment Quotes

Investment Quotes

This infographic is available as a poster.

The Top Investment Quotes Every Investor Should Know

Quotes can have lasting impressions. They can also tell a story.

From Warren Buffett to John Maynard Keynes, the financial greats offer insights that often last for decades. Not only have they lived through several market cycles, their understanding of the market is foundational to their success.

In this infographic from New York Life Investments, we distill five timeless investment quotes and explore the data behind their insight.

Top 5 Investment Quotes for Investors

What investment quotes can we learn from today?

1. “The most important quality for an investor is temperament, not intellect.”

— Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Often, emotions influence trading activity. Consider how investors traded 10x more in the first quarter of 2020 than in 2009.

Here are three fear indicators that can lead to these trading spikes:

  • Volatility: Higher Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) reading indicates higher fear.
  • Stock Price Strength: A greater number of stocks reaching 52-week lows versus 52-week highs indicates higher fear.
  • Bond vs. Stock Performance: When bonds outperform, it can indicate higher fear.

Yet, in spite of extreme investor fear, the S&P 500 has proven resilient. The index had positive performance in 32 of the last 42 years.

2. “The individual investor should act consistently as an investor and not as a speculator.”

— Benjamin Graham, author of The Intelligent Investor

Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing, had an enormous influence on Warren Buffett. One of his many core insights includes recognizing the difference between an investor and a speculator:

  • Investor: Focused on safety of principal and reasonable return.
  • Speculator: At risk of losing potentially the entire principal.

Rather than seeing an investment as simply a ticker symbol, Graham says, think of an investment like having a partial ownership in a business.

When investors think like an owner, they look for the intrinsic value of the company in the long term, which can compound in value over time.

TimeMonthly ContributionAnnual ReturnInterest Earned on Investments
Year 1$2007%$14
Year 11$2007%$231

In a relatively short period of time, the investor is earning $231 on a $200 monthly contribution.

3. “The biggest risk of all is not taking one.”

— Mellody Hobson, co-CEO of Ariel Investments

Mellody Hobson, co-CEO of Chicago-based Ariel Investments, became president at just 31. Today, Ariel manages over $18 billion in assets. As the head of two major firms (she is also chairwoman of Starbucks), Hobson understood the importance of taking the first step.

We show an example of a potential benefit of starting early:

InvestorContribution TimelineMonthly ContributionAnnual Rate of ReturnTotal Contribution AmountEnd Portfolio Value
Investor AAge 25-35$2007%$24,000~$300,000
Investor BAge 35-65$2007%$72,000$245,000

As the above table shows, Investor A contributed just $24,000, outperforming Investor B—who contributed 3x more ($72,000) over their lifetime. By age 65, Investor A’s portfolio value was worth nearly $300,000 while Investor B’s stood at $245,000.

Investing early is especially timely given today’s inflationary environment. Over time, inflation erodes the value of the dollar and, in turn, a person’s overall wealth.

4. “Time in the market beats timing the market.”

— Ken Fisher, founder of Fisher Investments

If an investor tried to time the market and missed the best performing days over the last century, they would have earned just a fraction of the total returns. Staying invested led to over 17,000% returns, yet missing the 10 best days over each decade led to returns of just 28%:

DecadeS&P 500 Price ReturnExcluding Best 10 Days Per Decade

Source: Bank of America, S&P 500 returns (Mar 2021)

Historically, the biggest drops in the market often happen just before the largest upswings, meaning that opportunities can be easily missed.

Even the top investors have trouble timing the market at every turn.

5. “It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong.”

— John Maynard Keynes, father of modern macroeconomics

When markets are volatile, diversification can help investors temper its effects. Consider the following example that shows the advantages of diversification.

Annual Total Returns 1950-2020Large Cap EquityBonds50/50 Portfolio
1-Year Rolling Low-39%-8%-15%
1-Year Rolling High47%43%33%

Source: Bloomberg Finance L.P., FactSet, J.P. Morgan Asset Management; Robert Shiller, Strategas/Ibbotson, US Federal Reserve (2021)

When investors blended stocks and bonds in their portfolios over a one year period, the downside was sharply reduced.

Annual Total Returns 1950-2020Large Cap EquityBonds50/50 Portfolio
5-Year Rolling Low-3%-2%1%
5-Year Rolling High28%23%21%

Source: Bloomberg Finance L.P., FactSet, J.P. Morgan Asset Management; Robert Shiller, Strategas/Ibbotson, US Federal Reserve (2021)

Meanwhile, over the last seven decades, a combination of stocks and bonds has never produced a negative return across a five-year rolling period.

Learning from Historical Insight

The above five investment quotes can arm investors with investing lessons that often are easy to forget:

  • React logically, not emotionally
  • Leverage compound interest
  • Start early
  • Stay invested
  • Diversify

With insights drawn from those who have shaped the financial world, investors can better position their portfolios for success.

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Europe’s Energy Crisis and the Global Economy

Europe’s energy crisis could last well into 2023. Here’s how the energy shock is causing ripple effects across the broader economy.



This infographic is available as a poster.

Europe’s Energy Crisis and the Global Economy

Volatile energy prices are squeezing household costs and business productivity in Europe.

While energy prices have fallen in recent months, several factors could influence price volatility looking ahead:

  • Russia slashing energy supplies
  • Rising winter heating demand
  • Shrinking European storage facilities

In the above infographic from New York Life Investments, we show the potential impacts of Europe’s energy crisis on consumers, businesses, and the wider global economy.

1. Impact on Consumers

Energy plays a central role in overall inflation. Here’s how it factors into the consumption baskets of various countries:

CountryEnergy %
of Inflation
Total Inflation Rate
(Sep 2022)
EnergyFoodAll Items Less Food
and Energy
United Kingdom28%8.8%2.5%1.3%5.0%

Source: OECD (Oct 2022). Annual inflation is measured by the Consumer Price Index.

As the above table shows, energy makes up nearly half of consumer price inflation in Germany. In the U.S., it contributes to about one-fifth of overall inflation.

Amid energy supply disruptions, U.S. winter heating costs are projected to rise to the highest level in a decade. As heating costs rise, it could impact consumer spending on discretionary items across the economy, along with other essential household bills.

2. Impact on Business

Natural gas and petroleum are key components in many industries’ energy consumption. As a result, the recent rise in energy prices is adding significant cost pressures to operations.

Below, we show how four primary sectors use energy, by source:

U.S. SectorPetroleumNatural GasRenewablesCoalElectricity

Source: EIA (Apr 2022). Figures represent end-use sector energy consumption in 2021.

In Europe, soaring energy prices have led to production declines in energy-sensitive industries over recent months. As a ripple effect, European fertilizer production capacity has decreased as much as 70%, crude steel capacity has fallen 10%, and aluminum and zinc production capacity has sunk 50%.

In response, some companies may move production out of Europe to regions with lower energy prices. This occurred in 2010-2014 amid high European energy prices, where companies relocated to the U.S., the Middle East, and North Africa.

3. Impact on the Economy

While the energy crisis is having devastating effects on many countries, some markets like the U.S. are more sheltered from the impact. As seen in the table below, the U.S. produces virtually all of its natural gas. Figures are shown in trillion cubic feet.

YearU.S. Natural Gas
U.S. Natural Gas
Net Imports

Source: EIA (Sep 2022).

By contrast, Europe imports 80% of its natural gas, primarily from Russia, North Africa, and Norway. Not only that, natural gas imports have increased over the last decade, up from 65% of total supplies in 2010.

Meanwhile, the energy sector is seeing strong returns supported by higher oil and natural gas prices, along with key fuel shortages as Russia constricts supplies to Europe. In November the S&P 500 Energy Index was up 65% year-to-date compared to the broader index, with -17% returns.

Europe’s Energy Crisis: Looking Ahead

Given the complex geopolitical environment, Europe’s energy crisis could last well into 2023, driven by many factors:

  • Rising demand from China post-COVID-19 lockdowns
  • Lower European fuel reserves
  • Inadequate energy infrastructure in the medium-term

The good news is that European government relief has reached €674 billion ($690 billion) to cushion the effect on households and businesses.

However, this has additional challenges as increasing money supply may be an inflationary force.

Amid market volatility, investors can avoid getting caught up in short-term market movements and stay focused on their long-term strategic allocation.

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5 Key Questions Investors Have About Inflationary Environments

This infographic explores questions on today’s inflationary environment as the economy faces persistent price pressures.



Inflationary Environment

This infographic is available as a poster.

5 Key Questions on Inflationary Environments

What does a changing inflationary environment mean for financial markets, and how could this impact investors?

While there are no clear answers, the above infographic from New York Life Investments looks at key questions on inflation and the potential implications looking ahead.

1. What Are the Main Factors Driving Inflation?

Often, investors closely watch core inflation since it doesn’t factor in volatile energy and food prices. In September, core inflation rose 0.6% from the previous month while headline inflation, as represented by the Consumer Price Index, increased 0.4%.

DateCore InflationHeadline Inflation
Sep 20220.6%0.4%
Aug 20220.6%0.1%
Jul 20220.3%0.0%
Jun 20220.7%1.3%
May 20220.6%1.0%
Apr 20220.6%0.3%
Mar 20220.3%1.2%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/13/22.

Earlier in the pandemic, surging second-hand car prices and supply-chain distortions were factors driving up inflation. But as dynamics have shifted, rising services costs, including housing, have played a significant role.

Along with these factors, a strong labor market is adding to price pressures. Nominal wages increased 6.3% annually in September, after hitting almost 7% in August, the highest in 20 years.

For this trend to reverse, unemployment levels may need to rise and interest rates may need to increase to cool an overheating economy.

2. What is the Effect of Fiscal Stimulus on Inflation?

In response to a historic crisis, the U.S. government allocated over $5 trillion in fiscal stimulus. The Federal Reserve released research that suggests that the fiscal stimulus contributed to 2.5 percentage points in excess U.S. inflation.

Specifically, the fiscal stimulus affected supply and demand dynamics, stimulating the consumption of goods. At the same time, the production of goods didn’t increase, which elevated demand pressures and price tensions.

As the short-term implications begin to unfold, the longer-term structural effects of record stimulus remain far from clear.

3. How Do Interest Rates Impact Inflation?

When inflation is running high, the Fed often hikes interest rates to cool an overheating economy.

Consider how in February 1975 there was a 17% difference between core inflation and real interest rates, an instance when the Fed got “behind the curve”. This shows that the real rate is far below the core inflation rate.

Sometimes, this prompts the Fed to raise rates to combat inflation. After several rate hikes, inflation fell to 4% by 1983, bringing the real rate and core inflation closer together. The table below shows when this gap rose to the double-digits between 1974 and early 2022:

DateCore InflationReal RateDifference
Oct 197410.6%-0.5%11.1%
Nov 197411.0%-1.5%12.5%
Dec 197411.3%-2.8%14.1%
Jan 107511.5%-4.4%15.9%
Feb 197511.9%-5.6%17.5%
Mar 197511.3%-5.8%17.1%
Apr 197511.3%-5.8%17.1%
May 197510.3%-5.1%15.4%
Jun 19759.8%-4.3%14.1%
Jul 19759.1%-3.0%12.1%
Jan 198012.0%1.9%10.2%
May 198013.1%-2.2%15.3%
Jun 198013.6%-4.1%17.7%
Jul 198012.4%-3.4%15.8%
Aug 198011.8%-2.2%14.0%
Sep 198012.0%-1.1%13.1%
Oct 198012.2%0.7%11.6%
Dec 20215.5%-5.4%10.9%
Jan 20226.0%-6.0%12.0%

Source: Peterson Institute for International Economics, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 03/14/22. The real policy interest rate is the Federal Funds Rate minus Core Inflation over 12 months.

In January 2022, this gap reached 12%, hinting towards further interest rate action from the Fed.

Over the last 11 tightening cycles since 1965, six resulted in soft landings and three resulted in hard landings. Whether or not the recent tightening cycle will result in a hard landing, also known as a significant decline in real GDP, remains an open question.

4. How Long Will Inflation Last?

From the vantage point of 2022, the direction of inflation is as complex as it is uncertain. Below, we show where inflation may be headed in the near future based on analysis from the Federal Reserve.

PCE Inflation5.4%2.8%2.3%
Federal Funds Rate4.4%4.6%3.9%

Source: Federal Reserve Board, 09/21/22. Reflects median projections for PCE Inflation and the Federal Funds Rate.

By 2024, inflation is expected to fall closer to the 2.0% target amid higher interest rates. What other key factors could influence inflation going forward?

 2023 Projection
U.S. Real GDP Growth1.2%
Interest Rates4.6%
Housing Price Growth-10.0%
Unemployment Rate4.4%

Source: Federal Reserve Board 09/21/22, Morningstar, 08/07/22. Interest rates represented by the Federal Funds Rate. Housing Price Growth represented by median U.S. home prices.

A combination of slowing GDP growth, higher interest rates, decreasing housing prices, and higher unemployment could potentially dampen inflation leading into 2023.

5. What May Lessen the Impact of Inflation On My Portfolio?

During inflationary periods, value stocks have tended to perform well, based on data from Robert Shiller and Kenneth French. In fact, value stocks saw nearly 8% annualized outperformance over growth during the 1970s and over 5% outperformance during the 1980s.

Similarly, tangible assets like commodities and real estate have tended to weather these periods thanks to their ability to increase portfolio diversification and stability across economic cycles. For instance, between 1973 and 2021, commodities have averaged 19.1% during inflationary periods while real estate assets averaged 5.0%.

The Big Canvas

Generally speaking, periods of high inflation over history are quite rare. Since 1947, the average U.S. inflation rate has been 3.4%.

Inflation (1947-2021)Percentage of Time Spent
Below 0%16%
Between 0 and 5%57%
Between 5 and 10%20%
Above 10%7%

Source: CFA Institute, 07/19/21.

Against a changing environment, investors may consider balancing their portfolios with more defensive strategies that have been historically more resistant to inflation.

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