The chart below shows how a hypothetical investment of $10,000 in the S&P 500 in 1926 would have grown to more than $74 million today. Visually, the chart makes investing look simple. But the market does not move in a straight line upward. The most interesting element of the chart is what is minimized over the long term—volatility. Investors don't have a 90-year time horizon and the sharpness of volatility is muted over time.
An important lesson of this chart is that markets are cyclical and bear markets are a normal part of investing. Bear markets happen and, in many cases, are inevitable. Investors that expect them and put them in the proper historical perspective should have better long-term success. That's the power of a long term investment plan.
Average Increase: 387%
Average Duration: 7.2 Years
Average Decline: -39%
Average Duration: 1.3 Years
Frequency: 7.7 Years
Duration: 1.1 Months
Source: FactSet, S&P Dow Jones Indices as of March 31, 2020. The indices are unmanaged, are not available for investment, and do not incur expenses. Click here for index definitions. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Investments in debt securities are subject to credit and interest rate risk. An increase in interest rates typically causes the value of bonds and other fixed income securities to fall.
Investments in international securities are subject to certain risks of overseas investing including currency fluctuations and changes in political and economic conditions, which could result in significant market fluctuations. These risks are magnified in emerging markets.
Investments in small-capitalization companies are subject to greater price volatility, lower trading volume and less liquidity than investing in larger, more established companies.
Real estate investments are subject to factors such as changing general and local economic, financial, competitive and environmental conditions.
Alternative investments are speculative, subject to high return volatility and involve a high degree of risk including, but not limited to, the risks associated with leverage, derivative instruments such as options and futures, distressed securities, may be illiquid on a long term basis and short sales. There can be no assurance that these types of strategies will achieve their objectives or avoid substantial losses. Alternative investments may also be subject to significant fees and expenses.
Investments in emerging markets are subject to risks such as erratic earnings patterns, economic and political instability, changing exchange controls, limitations on repatriation of foreign capital and changes in local governmental attitudes toward private investment, possibly leading to nationalization or confiscation of investor assets.
A bear market is a prolonged period in which investment prices are falling or are expected to fall, accompanied by widespread pessimism. A 20% decrease of the S&P 500 index was used and calculated on a monthly basis. Bear markets usually occur when the economy is in a recession and unemployment is high, or when inflation is rising quickly.
AMG Distributors, Inc., a member of FINRA/SIPC.
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