What a difference a year makes. On Christmas Eve 2018, the S&P 500 closed sharply down, bringing its peak-to-trough losses to 19.8% – just shy of the 20% loss that defines a bear market. Even many of the best stock funds were clobbered. You had to look hard to find any optimistic market watchers that winter.
In contrast, with the S&P 500 up a stunning 29% in the year just ended, most market gurus are expecting good tidings in 2020 – albeit much more muted gains than 2019 produced.
Last year was yet another one in which growth walloped value, even though growth stocks are significantly overpriced compared to value stocks. (Yes, growth stocks are supposed to be more expensive than value stocks – but not by nearly the gap that exists today.) Similarly, foreign stocks again lagged U.S. stocks despite being cheaper than U.S. stocks when measured against earnings and sales.
The lessons I take away from that? Overweight foreign and value stocks slightly, but don't get carried away. Don't try to time the market, and be patient with what looks attractive. Diversification is still your best friend.
With that in mind, here are my five best stock funds for retirement savers in 2020.
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