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Asset Allocation

Staying invested: long-term investment horizons

Field

The advice to “stay invested” is probably as old as the idea of investing itself. Yet it’s often tough advice to follow, especially when rising volatility and worries about economic growth concern you. Even so, staying the course and remaining invested in the markets is often the best way to make sure your long-term goals are still on track. And a look at historical trends helps demonstrate why this is so.

Equity markets tend to go up more than down (as represented by the S&P 500® index)
Charts
When markets decline, they tend to recover relatively quickly

In 80 of the 87 market declines, the recovery was under one year.

The risk is in the miss

Let’s explore the performance of a $10,000 investment in the S&P 500® Index over a 10-, 20- and 30-year time periods (as of 31 Dec 2020).

Table 1
 

Historical equity market drawdowns and subsequent recoveries (1937 - 2020)


 

Professional management can help take emotions out of financial decisions and markets. The irrational behavior caused by behavioral biases can impose significant costs on individuals portfolio performance.

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Related articles
Asset Allocation Case study: Maintaining investment discipline
The benefits of “maintaining course” when investing is time-tested.
Asset Allocation Asset allocation views as the market adjusts
Because it is impossible to time a market bottom, investors must remain nimble, identifying opportunities for relative value while avoiding “value traps.”
Asset Allocation Getting real about risk
The investment community spends a lot of time discussing the risk of different investments, but we don’t often spend time discussing how that risk is actually defined.

The S&P 500® Index (S&P 500) is an unmanaged index of 500 stocks that is generally representative of the performance of larger companies in the U.S. Performance does not reflect the impact of fees and expenses. Investors cannot invest directly in an index. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect any fees, expenses or sales charges. Total return is the actual rate of return of an investment or a pool of investments over a given evaluation period. Total return includes interest, capital gains, dividends and distributions realized over a given period of time.

A word on risk

All investments carry a certain degree of risk, including possible loss of principal, and there is no assurance that an investment will provide positive performance over any period of time.

Nuveen provides investment advisory solutions through its investment specialists.
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