Two of America’s most acclaimed wealth managers for the ultrarich explain why a famous approach to retirement investing is dead wrong — and reveal what people should do instead

It’s one of those things everyone who has thought about retirement knows: Younger people are supposed invest in stocks, and older people should mostly own bonds.

But two of the most respected wealth managers in the country say that’s a bad approach.

The objections come from Jeff Erdmann, who has topped Forbes’ list of the best wealth managers in America for the last three years, and Peter Mallouk, who Barron’s named the no. 1 independent wealth advisor four times since 2013.

Both are very positive on stocks as long-term investments. That partially reflects their focus on wealthy families and maintaining wealth that can last for generations. But their concerns about the traditional strategy also have major implications for everyday investors and anyone with a 401(k).

The standard thinking about retirement investing is that younger people should own on high-growth assets like stocks, and as the years pass they should gradually get more conservative to get a steady stream of income and protect against big losses. The non-traditional response?

“You should throw that philosophy out the window,” Erdmann said in a phone interview with Business Insider.

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