Did you know that during any given year when the market is rising, up to 42% of stocks may simultaneously be declining?
Simply being ‘in the market’ during an up year doesn’t guarantee positive performance. Some years are worse than others, but history shows stock-pickers can easily lose money despite being right about market direction.
The chart below demonstrates this phenomenon over the past 20 years. The blue bar shows calendar year performance for all positive years dating back to 2002. The red line shows the % of stocks that were negative during the same year.
Lesson: unless you have the golden touch, it’s best to tap into market gains by building exposure to a broad basket of stocks. The easiest and cheapest way to achieve that is by using a low cost index fund.