Stay the course
History shows that time is on the side of investors concerned about short-term volatility.
Events in Greece and China have given investors plenty to think about recently. Whilst market volatility has not approached the levels seen in the past, in particular during the global financial crisis in 2008, these events have served as a reminder that short-term fluctuations are an inherent feature of stock markets. And with a number of uncertainties likely to continue to unsettle markets, including the timing of a rise in US interest rates, investors should expect further volatility.
Investors need to remember that time is on their side. The value of investments can rise and fall quite sharply in the short term, which can be either encouraging or unsettling. As the chart below shows, an investment into global equities held over one year could have produced an annual return as high as 69%, but could have fallen by as much as 51%. The risks of short-term investing are clear.
Source: Thomson Reuters; figures for Datastream World Market Index Total Return Index for investment holding periods starting from 01/01/1973.
Please be aware that past performance is not indicative of future performance. The value of an investment with St. James's Place may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested. Returns on equities cannot be guaranteed.
However, history shows that over longer holding periods, stock market returns are less extreme and more consistent, which should provide investors with greater peace of mind that their long-term objectives can be achieved.