Life-Cycle Investing and Leverage: Buying Stock on Margin Can Reduce Retirement Risk
50 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2008
Date Written: June 2008
By employing leverage to gain more exposure to stocks when young, individuals can achieve better diversification across time. Using stock data going back to 1871, we show that buying stock on margin when young combined with more conservative investments when older stochastically dominates standard investment strategies?both traditional life-cycle investments and 100%-stock investments. The expected retirement wealth is 90% higher compared to life-cycle funds and 19% higher compared to 100% stock investments. The expected gain would allow workers to retire almost six years earlier or extend their standard of living during retirement by 27 years.
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