Traditional investing involves a roller coaster of highs and lows

Markets can go up or down at any time, and traditional strategies have few tools to spare investors from short-term volatility.


In the 16-year period shown, only twice did the same asset class lead the markets in consecutive years.


Negative performance is not unusual. There were three years of negative returns on average for the indexes, excluding cash. Two indexes had negative results in seven years.


While the average return of these indexes over the 16 years shown was just over 5%, the average spread between the highest and lowest annual returns for each index was nearly 50%.

* Source: InvesTech Research. **Source: Standard & Poor's.

Bear markets hurt

In 2001 and 2008, some asset classes lost more than 10%, and a few lost more than 30%.**

Recovery is an uphill battle

For every 40% drop in value, it takes a gain of 67% to return to even.*

More on downside risk »

Absolute return investing pursues positive returns with modern tools to seek reduced volatility. Learn more.

Indexes in chart Avg. annualized return
U.S. large-cap stocks 9.92%
Global high-yield bonds 9.11%
Emerging-market bonds 8.80%
International stocks 8.11%
U.S. corporate bonds 5.37%
U.S. bank loans 5.15%
U.S. mortgage securities 4.05%
U.S. government bonds 3.52%
Cash 1.28%
Commodities -2.48%