The Price of Waiting

Apr 2020

… In the 2007 – 09 financial crisis, U.S. GDP bottomed in June of 2009. If you had known the economy was bottoming exactly at that time (a very unlikely possibility, given the time it takes to gather and report economic statistics), you would have missed the bottom in stock prices (in March of 2009) by three full months. During that three-month period in which stocks were rising, but the economy was still falling, stocks rose at an annualized rate of over 90%. Looking at eight other steep reces­sions, on average stocks gained at an annualized rate of about 65% between the stock market’s bottom and the eventual end of the recessions. As you can see, it can be quite costly to wait for clear evidence of economic improvement before investing.