Staying invested even amid times of uncertainty

Stock quotation boards in Tokyo last Monday showing prices on the stock exchanges of (from left) Shanghai, Tokyo and New York. The writer cites history to show that the longer you hold your equities portfolio, the higher the probability that it would
Stock quotation boards in Tokyo last Monday showing prices on the stock exchanges of (from left) Shanghai, Tokyo and New York. The writer cites history to show that the longer you hold your equities portfolio, the higher the probability that it would be positive. For example, for all the one-year rolling periods between January 1973 and July 2019, the percentage of positive periods was 59 per cent.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

But don't go all in when the bull is rampaging through the market

"In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes," wrote Benjamin Franklin in 1789. Despite all of humankind's scientific advances over the last 230 years, we still cannot overcome the uncertainty of the future.

Indeed, life would be extremely boring if there is certainty in everything we do. As things stand, there is an element of luck, an element of "don't know what to expect" which make us want to try new things, take a different path.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 01, 2019, with the headline 'Staying invested even amid times of uncertainty'. Print Edition | Subscribe