If you had invested $1,000 in the stock market in 1990 could you figure out how much that money would be worth today? Possibly. However, if you tried to time the market during that period, I bet you would be surprised how much you would have lost just by missing a few of the market’s best days.
The impact of missing just those few days can be profound, as shown below by this quick one-minute animated look at a hypothetical investment in the stocks that make up the S&P 500 Index. Staying invested and focused on the long term helps to ensure that you’re in position to capture what the market has to offer.
There’s no proven way to time the market – targeting the best days or moving to the sideline to avoid the worst – so history argues for staying put through the good times and the bad.