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2 all-important lessons Mariah Carey, Wham! and Slade could teach you about long-term investing

Updated: Dec 16, 2022

Every December, it seems the same Christmas hits are rolled out for everyone to enjoy.

Each Christmas, you’ll hear the crooning tones of Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas’ and The Pogues’ ‘Fairytale of New York’ – and you might have wondered: are these artists still making money from their classic Christmas hits?

The simple answer to this question is yes, many of the artists responsible for these renowned songs have become extraordinarily wealthy over the years. Musicians gain royalties from multiple sources, including streaming services, CD and record sales, radio plays, and tours.

One incredible example is that of Mariah Carey. Her 1994 hit, ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’, had reportedly earned almost £3 million from Spotify plays alone by December 2021. Considering the average Spotify play earns £0.0028, it doesn’t take a mathematician to work out that Carey’s song has been played a mind-boggling number of times.

Astonishingly, as of November 2022, a study by The Economist published by Heart reports, Carey has earned a total of £65 million from this one hit alone.

What’s more, Mariah Carey isn’t the only artist reaping consistently high profits from her old Christmas hits.

The Independent reports that:

  • Slade make £1 million a year in royalties from their 1973 hit, ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’

  • Wham! earn £300,000 a year from ‘Last Christmas’, released in 1984

  • Bing Crosby’s estate makes £328,000 a year from the 1954 classic, ‘White Christmas’.

You might be wondering: what does this have to do with my finances?

Indeed, we don’t recommend trying to make your fortune by penning the next Christmas classic – but these artists and their age-old hits have some valuable lessons to bestow about the power of a long-term investment plan.

Read on to find out two all-important lessons you could learn from Mariah, Slade, and Wham! about growing your wealth long-term.

1. Your present investments could provide opportunities in the decades to come

The simplest yet most important lesson of investing is that making “sacrifices” now can offer amazing opportunities decades in the future.

Indeed, especially during the cost of living crisis, you may have been tempted to keep most of your wealth in cash – in order to dip into your funds when you need them, and protect them from market volatility. With most industries experiencing downturns across 2022, your portfolio might not look as attractive as you’d hoped this year.

Yet while staying invested might feel risky at the moment, it can ultimately prove life-changing down the line.

In fact, a recent study produced by Nutmeg could bring you some peace of mind if you’re worried about losing wealth in the long term.

While past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance, and positive returns are never guaranteed, Nutmeg suggests that staying invested for long periods of time gives the highest chance of growing your wealth and meeting your goals.

The study took the period between January 1971 and July 2022, and tested an investor’s chances of seeing positive returns based on how long they held any given investment within this time period.

It found that holding an investment for just one day gave a 52.4% chance of success – similar odds to tossing a coin.

Happily, if you kept that investment for any given quarter during the 50-year period, your chances of returns increased to 65.6%. Holding an asset for a year upped your chances to 72.8%.

Crucially, holding an investment for any decade in that period gave a 94.2% chance of positive returns.

Just as artists like Slade and Wham! held onto the royalties of their Christmas hits from the 1970s and 80s, and are still reaping the rewards to this day, you too could grow your wealth by sitting tight throughout the years ahead.

2. Staying focused on your goals can help prevent you from panic-selling in hard times

If you already have an investment portfolio in place, you will know that 2022 has been a challenging year for markets.

With the Ukraine war, the ongoing Covid-19 lockdowns across China, and political uncertainty here in the UK, it has been a challenging year for investors, many of who have witnessed a downturn in the value of their portfolio.

Just as Mariah Carey could have sold the rights to ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ back in the late 1990s – and earned a hefty sum from the buyer in the process – there is always the option to cash out now.

However, reducing or pulling out of investments could lead to surprisingly weighty shortfalls down the line.

Take your pension, for example. You may have spent many years contributing into your pension, with the hopes that when you reach retirement age, your pot will be big enough to fund the lifestyle you deserve.

Yet in light of the cost of living crisis, you might have let your short-term mindset overtake your long-term goals, and been tempted to halt or reduce your pension contributions to stave off expenditure worries.

However, by doing so, an AJ Bell study has found you could be short many thousands of pounds when you reach retirement.

For instance, the study found that a 30-year old earning £30,000 and putting 8% of their salary into their pension annually (including employer contributions) pausing their payments for three years could cost them £15,000 when they reach State Pension Age.

If you are earning substantially more than this example, your shortfall could be even greater.

By keeping your long-term wealth goals in mind like these savvy Christmas artists have done all these years, you could avoid a short-term mindset and stop yourself from panic-selling or pausing investments.

Get in touch

If all you want for Christmas is peace of mind and clarity around your finances, email us at or call us on 0208 882 2979 for more information.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Your pension income could also be affected by the interest rates at the time you take your benefits. Levels, bases of and reliefs from taxation may be subject to change and their value depends on the individual circumstances of the investor.

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