The Trouble with Market Timing
Adjust the slider below to see what would have happened to a $10,000 investment if you missed just a few of the isolated days that had the strongest returns.
S&P 500 Index Returns from 1998-2012 Cost of missing the
99 strongest days
$9,999
Number of days with strongest growth missed Narration: 00:00 / 00:00
0 days 10 days 20 days


Hypothetical example for illustrative purposes only. Source: Morningstar Inc. IA - SBBI S&P 500 Total Index. Assumptions: One-time investment of $10,000 on December 31, 1997 to July 20, 2015 in the S&P 500 Index. For market timing examples, the indicated number of highest single-day returns was removed from the total return. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested in directly.

You should always keep in mind, though, that you can't count on the market to behave the same way in the future as it has in the past. These comparisons, while a helpful way to evaluate your investment options, should not be considered predictors of future performance.

There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will achieve its objectives. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Standard and Poor's index tracks 500 stocks of large-company U.S. companies and is the basis for several index mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.