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Missing a Few of the Best Stock Market Days Could Cost You A Lot Of Money (Overview)

Last Updated on 10 February, 2024 by Trading System

You may have heard that attempting to time the market is a losing game, and that most investors aren‘t successful at it. However, it‘s important to understand that the risks of trying to time the market go far beyond potentially missing out on a crash or bull run. In fact, over time, attempting to time the market could end up costing you a lot of money.

Investing can be very emotional

Investing can be an emotional rollercoaster. During bull markets, when prices are increasing, many investors feel successful, as they watch their investments grow and their financial security is not at risk. It can be even more enjoyable to buy new investments as prices become more expensive. On the other hand, during bear markets, anxiety and fear can set in when watching investments decline in value. This can make one feel panicked and cause them to make rash decisions, such as selling out of their investments. However, while this may feel like the right decision at the time, it could actually cost them more in the long run. By selling out of their investments, they miss out on potential trading days that could have resulted in more growth.

How much exactly do you lose if you miss the best stock markets days? 

If you had invested $10,000 into the S&P 500 on Jan. 3, 2000 and kept the investment until Dec. 31, 2019, you would have earned an average annual return of 6%. This amount would have increased your base sum to $32,421. However, JPMorgan’s asset management arm has revealed striking evidence on the costs of missing out on the best days. As the table shows, if you had missed just the 10 best days out of the 5,000 trading days, your final sum would have been less than half. If you had missed the top 20 days, you would have made virtually no profit, and any additional missed winning days would have resulted in a net loss.

Missing the Best Stock Market Days

Trying to beat the stock market is difficult and can be a risky endeavor. If you wait too long to make an investment, you may miss out on potential gains. For example, if you had waited for the perfect entry point when the market bottomed out on March 23, 2020, you would have lost out on 67% of the market’s return.

Timing the market correctly can be rewarding, but the risks of getting it wrong are high. Nobody can predict with precision what the stock market will do, so it’s essential to focus on strategies like asset allocation and diversification. These methods can help reduce your portfolio risk, potentially boost your returns, and ensure you are invested for the long term.


Missing out on a few of the best days in the stock market can have a significant impact on your returns. It’s no secret that the stock market can be volatile, and even missing the best days can cost you a lot of money.

The stock market can be unpredictable, so timing your investments can be tricky. Missing out on a few of the best days in the stock market can be costly. According to a Vanguard study, missing out on the 10 best days in the stock market from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2019 would have cost an investor 44% of their potential return. In other words, if an investor had invested $10,000 in the S&P 500 on January 1, 2000, and missed the 10 best days during that period, their return would have been almost halved, to $5,611.

While it’s impossible to predict when the best days will be, diversifying your portfolio and investing for the long term can help mitigate the impact of missing out on a few of the best days in the stock market. By investing in a variety of different asset classes, you can help spread out your risk and potentially increase your returns. Additionally, investing for the long term can help you take advantage of compounding returns and benefit from market upturns.

In summary, missing out on a few of the best days in the stock market can be costly. To maximize your returns, it’s important to diversify your portfolio and invest for the long term. By doing so, you can help reduce the impact of missing out on the best days in the stock market and potentially increase your overall returns.


What emotional challenges do investors face during market fluctuations?

Investors may experience emotional ups and downs during market fluctuations. Bull markets can create a sense of success, while bear markets may induce anxiety and fear.

How can emotions affect investment decisions during market volatility?

Emotional reactions, such as panic-selling during market downturns, can lead to rash decisions that may result in missed opportunities and long-term financial losses.

What evidence supports the idea that timing the market can cost investors money?

JPMorgan’s asset management arm revealed evidence that missing just a few of the best trading days can significantly impact returns. For instance, missing the top 10 days could result in less than half of the potential return.

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