Investment Time Machine: See How Your Past Index Investments Would Have Performed

See the potential returns of your investment if you had used dollar cost averaging, lump sum investing, buying at the high or buying at the low. In the end, how much did it really matter?

Get a clear picture of your investment performance and make informed decisions for your future investments using our S&P 500 return calculator.

S&P 500 Index (inflation adjusted) Result
Try our Compound Interest Calculator to see what your future returns may look like. Use the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) as the interest rate for more accurate calculations.

Related Calculators: Dow Jones Time Machine, Nasdaq Time Machine, Hang Seng (Chinese Market) Time Machine, Nikkei (Japanese Market) Time Machine, Gold Time Machine, Silver Time Machine, Bitcoin

LSI = Lump Sum Inveesting, DCA = Dollar Cost Averaging, Unlucky = Highest price of the year, Lucky = Lowest price of the year.

This calculator uses the opening price for the year, the average closing price, the highest price or the lowest price.

Table of S&P 500 Returns

The Power of Long-term Investing: Why Time in the Market Beats Timing the Market

If you've been using our app, you may have noticed that investing at the beginning of the year tends to yield the best results in most cases.

When you use dollar-cost averaging, you benefit while the market is going down. Since the market usually goes up in most years, buying at the start of the year tends to be more successful on average.

In short, if you knew the market is going down this year, then DCA would likely be better. Otherwise, you are better off betting that the market is going to go up, since it's more likely to go up than down.

However, it's worth noting that buying at the highest or lowest prices also has an impact, but perhaps not as much as we may have initially thought.

While buying at the optimal time is ideal, it's difficult to predict the future in the short term. And impossible in the long run.

Statistically, it's better to invest now rather than try to time the market. Keep in mind, this strategy doesn't guarantee success and you may lose money (Compared to DCA into the market) about a third of the time.

It's worth exploring other investment strategies as they may perform better, but on average, investing at the beginning of the year tends to be more successful than buying at the average price.

Additionally, trying to time the market often leads to emotional decisions. When the market is down, it's tempting to sell your investments in the hopes of avoiding further losses.

But this often leads to selling at the wrong time and missing out on potential gains when the market bounces back.

Related article: Dollar Cost Averaging vs Lump Sum Investing: The Result May Surprise You

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