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The Cost of Bad Market Timing Decisions in 2020 Was Annihilation

  • Missing the best five days would have led to a loss of 30%
  • Temptation to call the peak grows after S&P 500’s 40% rally
Bloomberg business news
Dalio Says Central Bank Balance Sheets Are `Going to Explode'

From a 2,997-point rout in the Dow to two 9% single-day rallies in the S&P 500, the 2020 stock market has served up a raft of tantalizing sessions for would-be market timers. Hours came and went in which whole years could be made or lost.

But for all the dizzying turbulence, it’s worth noting that the S&P 500 is nearly flat for anyone who sat tight and held through the chaos. Mistakes stand out in an environment like that -- the back-breaking costs of even a few wrong moves in a market as turbulent as this one. Maybe volatility is the time for active managers to shine, but the downside of getting it wrong has rarely been greater.