Stock market declines over a few days or months may
lead investors to anticipate a down year. But the US stock
market had positive returns in 17 of the past 20 calendar
years, despite some notable dips in many of those years.
• Intra-year declines for the index ranged from 3% to 49%.
• Many years with large intra-year declines saw positive
annual returns. In 17 of the last 20 years, US stocks
ended up with gains for the year.
• Even in 2020, when there were sharp market declines
associated with the coronavirus pandemic, US stocks
ended the year with gains of 21%.
Volatility is a normal part of investing. Tumbles may be
scary, but they shouldn’t be surprising. A long-term focus
can help investors keep perspective.
Sources: Dimensional Fund Advisors LP is an investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.