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Market Returns or Six-Pack Ab Muscles?: Shootin' It Straight With Stan

Stan Haithcock
July 19, 2023
Market Returns or Six-Pack Ab Muscles?: Shootin' It Straight With Stan

Today's topic's a good one. It's a fun one. It's one that's going to make you think, chuckle and laugh a little bit, which is good. And that's kind of what I do. I had someone the other day talk about my videos, and they're informative as he was saying, but he said sometimes he just laughs out loud. That's good. I mean, annuities are a stale category and a stale subject. Hopefully, I'm bringing some flare to it and some good factual information you are utilizing. But I want you to have fun with these.

Today's one of those fun topics as well. Today's topic is Market Returns or Six-Pack Abs. Do you want market returns, or do you want six-pack abs? Because to me, wishing for either one is kind of the same. So, let's look at that.

Stan, what are you talking about? Six-pack abs? First of all, being a former basketball player, I've always been thin except for when I was drinking a lot, and transparency, I'm 18 years sober. But there was a time when I was drinking a lot. And as you know, when you drink a lot, you get puffy. And I was like 265 pounds, 275 pounds. Here's a bad sign, when people walk up to you and say, "Where'd you play football?" That's not good because you're a basketball player. And now I'm like 210. So even when I was playing, I didn't have the body type to have those ab muscles. And I had guys on my team that had washboard abs, six-pack pack abs, and I was like, "Man, I wish I had those." It's kind of like market returns, "Man, I wish I had those." I guess if I did a thousand sit-ups a day and all that stuff, I would get it. And market returns and six-pack abs are similar in that it's probably long-term unless it's genetic with six-pack abs or if you inherited money and you inherited some six-pack ab market returns. But I want you to think logically about the return scenarios and return expectations.

Be Rational

I get a lot of people on the phone, and I'll ask them this question because they'll have been pitched an annuity type that they think they're going to get market returns, and they're just not historically, I have to walk them off the cliff factually. And I'll say, "What type of return do you really want? I mean, what would you be happy with?" And I always frame that question with, "I need you to be rational, okay? Don't say something crazy. I need you to be rational." Even when I say that, and even when I frame it for them to be rational, many times, people will say 8, 9, 10, 12% a year. I'm like, "Year after year?" "Yeah, that's kind of what I'm wanting. That's what I'm looking for." I'm like, yeah, I'm looking for six-pack abs too. It's the same thing. Let's be rational.

Portfolios don't work like that year after year after year after year, as I told him and as I tell everyone that gives me that ridiculous type of answer. And if you're out there saying, "Well, I'm getting that every year, Stan." First of all, you might be full of crap. Second, I hope you're not talking to anybody, locked yourself into a closet, and just trading all day. Because some people can hammer the market. You're just never going to meet them. You might be one of them. And my question is, why are you reading this? You should be getting 8, 9, or 10% because you just said you did. But anyone that says 8, 9, 10% year after year after year, you know that statue of the bull on Wall Street? If you've never been to Wall Street, go there. If you did that, they would have a statue of you beside the bull in front of your computer. I mean, that's hedge fund, private equity, and family office dream scenarios. So be rational.

No One Knows

We've gone through the biggest bull market run over the past decade. I understand that, but it will probably be choppy from here on, and maybe it is, or maybe it isn't. I don't know that, you don't know that, and your advisor doesn't know that. No one on TV knows that. No one running ads knows that. No celebrity pitching something that you want to buy knows that. That's the reason I'm in the contractual guaranteed space because contractual guarantees are what they are. Every single client of mine knows exactly what's going to happen. Why? Because they purchased it for the contractual guarantees of the policy.

A Long-Term Play

Now, let's look at it like this. If you said, "Stan, I looked at the S&P 500, including dividends, returns over the past 30, 40 years, or the past 20 years, or the past 10 years." Let's just say whatever those decades you want to grab. You said, "Those returns have been pretty good, consistent six to seven-ish, whatever." But the key is long-term, right? Long-term. Some years are up, some years are down, some years are flat, etc. But the same thing can be said for six-pack abs. I'm not saying that I can't get six-pack abs, or you can't get six-pack abs; maybe at this age, we can't, if you're my age. But if I said to myself, over the next 10 years, I'm going to do a hundred sit-ups or squat thrusts a day, I'm going to do crunches and all that stuff. Of course, I can't because of my back; I just couldn't do it. Let's say I could, I'd probably have defined abdomen muscles. It's the same thing as the markets. You have to be disciplined and long-term and work daily on it.

So, my question to you is, market returns are six-pack abs. If you're saying market returns or six-pack abs or both, it's a long-term play. You know that. There are no quick fixes, and there's no too-good-to-be-true perfect product. And for the people that plopped all their money down on Bitcoin at $69,000 or whatever, it might go back there, maybe. It might not. I mean, you bought it high, and the analyst said, "Buy it here," and it's half of that now.

The key here, and the reason I'm making the correlation, is because most males, right? Most males, let's just admit it, we want six-pack abs. We'd love to have those washboard abs, and when we sit down, there's nothing. There's just tight, right? I would've loved to have had that my whole life. That's a goal. I want six-pack abs. The only way I could do that is if I got down to 160 and lost 50 pounds from here. I don't want to do that. But then there'd be nothing but ab muscles, and maybe there wouldn't even be ab muscles. But it's a commitment. What I'm saying to you is ab muscles are a commitment. Six-pack ab muscles are a commitment. Chiseled ab muscles are commitment, and it's a long-term market. Market returns are long-term. It's a commitment, and it's a discipline. Both are disciplines in order to achieve it. If market returns are your goal, then know it will be long-term. Know that you'll have to stay disciplined. Know that you're going to have to stay the course. Know that you're going to have to work on it every day. If six-pack abs are your focus and goal, know that you will have to work on your diet every day. Know that you're going to have to exercise every day. Know that you'll watch what you eat and do the exercises in that ab area. Know that.

Here's the interesting part about both. If I said to myself, "Long-term, I want six-pack abs," I probably wouldn't get them. I just don't have the genetics. I blame my dad, or whoever, my mom. Whatever gene pool I came out of. I just don't have that. But I could try. Same thing with market returns. You might never get the returns you want, but you can try. And the more you try, the better you'll get at it, right? The more you try on the abs, the better the abs will look. The better the stomach will look. But it's long-term. That's my point here, long-term. Stop trying to hit home runs. Stop trying to hit standup triples, baseball analogy. You got to go bunt singles sometime.

There Are No Shortcuts

There is nothing too good to be true. There's no shortcut. And yes, there will be times that you choose something in the markets that goes up, or you bet on a game that you win, but in any situation where the returns are worth waiting for, it will take a while to get them. I just like talking about six-pack abs because I always think that's a great correlation to hopes and dreams, and that's my patent answer when someone goes, "I want 8% every year." "Great, I want six-pack abs." "I want my children to respect me." "Great, I want six-pack abs." "I want my annuity to go up like the market and protect the principal." "Great, I want six-pack abs." "I want my annuity to increase with inflation every time the index increases." "Great, I want six-pack abs." By the way, that sales pitch is garbage because all the annuity company does is severely lower the initial payment. There's no too good to be true. "Stan, I want that too good to be true sales pitch to be true." "Great. I want six-pack abs." "Hey, Stan. I want my spouse to respect everything I say and treat me like a king or queen." "Great. I want six-pack abs."

That's what I want to put in your brain today, is any type of nonsense that someone says, you go, "Great. I want six-pack abs." Six pack abs, that's actually a great name because six packs of beer is beer to me as a former alcoholic, 18 years sober. Heck yeah on that one, by the way. But it's the six abdomen muscles that break up that I've never seen on my stomach. I guess that's what it is. But I need you to get honest with yourself and get real with your expectations. And if the advisor's promising something that sounds like a pill, "Here's a pill. And if you take the pill a month later, you'll have six-pack abs." Don't take the pill, okay? Because it's not true every single time.

So, I hope I've added the six-pack ab answer to your lexicon because it's a good one, and I use it all the time when people are just out of whack with returns. And when they tell me about the sales pitch they heard at the bad chicken dinner or the expensive steak dinner seminar, they're like, "Well, he said this." I'm like, "Yeah, great. Hopefully, he can help you with your six-pack abs because he's got a better chance of getting you six-pack abs, the hopes and dreams and all that stuff that he's been pitching, or she's been pitching, at the bad chicken dinner seminar."

Just a side note, it's back to bad chicken dinner, expensive steak dinner seminar season. It's time to open a restaurant, right? Because all these people out there, "Come and learn about this and learn about taxes, and learn about economic volatility," I mean, give me a break. You're smarter than that, as I always say. Go there. Go as my mom does in Florida. She goes to these bad chicken dinners, good steak dinners, and annuity seminars four times a week. Swallow the food, not the pitch, and then go to my site. Use our calculators to run quotes. See our live MYGA feed, see all my videos, see my Fun with Annuities podcast with great guests, and schedule a call with my team. Hopefully, you get me at this point in my career, I do open my schedule up occasionally, and there are times that you have me call you. There are a lot of people that say, "Is that really you?" I'm like, "Yeah, I'm the goofy guy in the videos."

But so, today's topic, market returns are six-pack abs. Both are dream situations. Both are long-term if you really want to achieve it, and both require you to put on your thinking and discipline cap if you even want to try to get them. Hey, that was a great topic. My name is Stan, the Annuity Man. We'll see you next time on the Shooting it Straight With Stan blog.

Never forget to live in reality, not the dream, with annuities and contractual guarantees! You can use our calculators, get all six of my books for free, and most importantly book a call with me so we can discuss what works best for your specific situation.

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