33 reasons not to invest in the stock market
33 reasons not to invest in the stock market
Wars, natural disasters, economic strife, and pandemics – the last four decades have challenged and affected people’s attitude towards investing.
In many cases they make an already tough decision to commit your money to investments even harder, leading some to not invest at all.
Behavioral scientists have a name for this: loss aversion. They estimate that the psychological pain of losing is about twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining, hence why some people shy from the risks involved with investing.
Yet as Schroders’ research shows, staying out of the stock market over the last 33 years could have proven costly.
The eroding effects of inflation and historically low interest rates would have eaten away at the value of your money if you decided not to invest.
While investing in the stock market carries greater risks (the possibility of your losing all the money you have invested) and volatility (the value of the money you have invested going up and down) it could have boosted your returns.
Schroders research found, after adjusting for the effects of inflation:
- £1,000 hidden "under the mattress" at the start of 1989 would now be worth £415 due to the effects of UK inflation – annual growth of -2.60%.
- £1,000 left alone in a UK savings account at the start of 1989 would now be worth £1,756 – annual growth of 1.70%.
- £1,000 invested in the FTSE All-Share index at the start of 1989, with all income reinvested, would now be worth £6,600 – annual growth of 5.90%.
These figures are not adjusted to include any account charges or investment fees.
The chart below illustrates the change in “real” (meaning after inflation) value each year of £1,000 invested in UK stocks, a UK bank account or left under your bed.
Please remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance. Investing in one geographical region (UK equites) may result in large changes to the value to your investment, which may adversely impact the performance.
A short history of stock market crashes since 2000
The last 32 years have included some of the biggest stock market shocks in history.
The most recent shocks have resulted from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, triggering enormous uncertainty over financial consequences including energy supplies and economic knock-on effects.
In 2020 and 2021, markets were primarily concerned with the pandemic. Covid-19 was the major contributing factor to three of the ten biggest one-day falls over the last four decades.
Yet while Covid produced some large one-day falls, the fall in UK shares of nearly 10% during 2020 was modest in comparison to other yearly falls experienced since 1989.
The global financial crisis of 2008, which began with the gradual collapse of the housing market in the US the year before, led to the worst global recession since the 1930s. In the year to the end of 2008 the FTSE All-Share was down 30%, its worst annual performance since 1989.
The reality is that there is no ‘perfect’ time to put money into the stock market
In 2001, the FTSE All-Share index fell by 13%. This was in the wake of the bursting of the "dotcom bubble" at the end of 1990s, when highly-rated technology stocks were sold off. It also coincided with the devastating attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York in September. The period also saw a global economic slump, although the UK managed to avoid recession. The FTSE All Share index was down 22% in the year to the end of 2002.
The table below illustrates how your investment returns could have built up year by year between 1989 and 2021 and shows the damaging effect inflation can have on your wealth. It also shows the global events that could have deterred investors in any of those given years.
Nick Kirrage, a fund manager and author on the Value Perspective investment blog, has written often about the danger fear can play.
“People can lose touch with just how bad things have looked and been in the past,” he said. “That can lead to them taking – or failing to take – actions in ways that can harm their personal wealth for decades to come.
“This data shows that investors who had instead opted to stay in cash would have seen their savings destroyed by inflation during a period when the stock market rallied. There are many other periods of the last century which offer the same conclusion.
“The reality is that there is no ‘perfect’ time to put money into the stock market. If you are holding out for one, you are going to remain in cash forever and, over the longer term, you are likely to be materially worse off as a result.”
The opinions included above should not be relied upon and should not be construed as advice and/or a recommendation. Past performance cannot be relied upon as a guide to the future performance and the value of your money may fall when invested.
- Hot in the city: why investors should care about soaring temperatures
- The Inflation Reduction Act explained: the most important climate bill in US history?
- A snapshot of the global economy in August 2022
- What are the implications of worsening US-China tensions?
- Europe’s gas crisis: what does it mean for investors?
- Podcast: why markets are rallying as rates rise
The views and opinions contained herein are those of the Authors, and may not necessarily represent views expressed or reflected in other Schroders communications, strategies or funds.
This document is intended to be for information purposes only. The material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. The material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, accounting, legal or tax advice, or investment recommendations. Information herein is believed to be reliable but Schroders does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. No responsibility can be accepted for errors of fact or opinion. Reliance should not be placed on the views and information in the document when taking individual investment and/or strategic decisions.
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results, prices of shares and the income from them may fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.
Schroders has expressed its own views in this document and these may change (to be used if the 1st statement above is not being used).
Issued by Schroder Investment Management (Europe) S.A., 5, rue Höhenhof, L-1736 Senningerberg, Luxembourg. Registered No. B 37.799. For your security, communications may be taped or monitored
The forecasts stated in the document are the result of statistical modelling, based on a number of assumptions. Forecasts are subject to a high level of uncertainty regarding future economic and market factors that may affect actual future performance. The forecasts are provided to you for information purposes as at today’s date. Our assumptions may change materially with changes in underlying assumptions that may occur, among other things, as economic and market conditions change. We assume no obligation to provide you with updates or changes to this data as assumptions, economic and market conditions, models or other matters change.