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The past few months have been marked by lots of volatility and a downturn in the markets. During these market downturns, it can be helpful to take a bird’s-eye view and get some perspective.

The graph below shows the percentage return for the stock market each year from 1926 through 2021. When you zoom out and look at the big picture you can see that three quarters of the time the markets reward us with abundant growth. From this perspective, it is obviously worth sticking through the few tumultuous years. Of course we don’t know which years will be up and which will be down. This is why, particularly for retirees, it is of utmost importance to have a balance between growth (stocks) and safety (bonds and cash) in your investment plan. If you employ this investment approach consistently, you dramatically increase your odds of success over time.

When the market is in a downturn, look for greater perspective and the big picture – this will remind you of your original intentions and help you stick to your plan.