Do you feel like walking away from the market?
Don’t worry, “imnotwillferrell”; you’re not alone. Millions entered the market in 2021 and many of us likely fell victim to the market crash.
2022 has been a really challenging year. The S&P 500 is down 25% this year, and the Nasdaq is down even more (-33%).
The following data won’t give you much ease, but it will help in deciding whether to quit:
- If you bought an ETF tracking the Nasdaq at the peak of the 2000 dot-com crash — it would have taken nearly 15 years to break even.
- If you bought an ETF tracking the S&P 500 at the peak of the 2008 crash — it would have taken nearly 6 years to break even.
Unfortunately, “imnotwillferrell” invested right at the peak of the market.
How long will it take for the market to break new highs this time? It’s anyone’s guess. Companies may be in a stronger position than in 2000 or 2008 — but it’s difficult to say what the market will throw at us next.
Time is an investor’s friend. With index investing, the longer your holding period, the stronger your returns. But the decision to sell also depends on your personal circumstance. If you need cash in the next few years, locking in the losses/gains gives you peace of mind.
The game completely changes for individual stocks — whose fortunes are impacted by factors unique to the company.
The Average Joe: “I also bought at the peak, but I dollar-cost average, so I’ll also buy at the bottom.”