|Source:AMP Capital Investors, figures within brackets denote peak to trough % declines|
The long term return since 1900 has been 11.8% per annum (or 7.7% after inflation). The calculation assumes that dividends are reinvested. This period includes the great depression, the 1960s stock market stagnation (remember the nifty 50 share bubble?), the 1987 crash and the GFC. The return since 1950 has been roughly the same. You often hear people say, Oh, I doubled my money on my house since I bought it 20 years ago. That sounds like a lot, doesn't it? Yet it is a measly 3.5% per annum! 11.8% will increase your money by over 9 times over 20 years. (I had to check that calculation to be sure I was right)
The markets may well go lower in the short term. But there's every reason to believe that in 20 years time, assuming your reinvest your divvies, you'll have a lot more than you do now. And on that time horizon, at least here in Oz, it's a good time to buy.