As stocks have become mighty volatile, long-term investors could be induced to become more short-term oriented in their thinking, buying stocks on a single day’s rally, or selling after a swift 11 percent decline, such as we saw from Wednesday to Tuesday.

Based on the historical performance of the S&P 500, it’s that second decision—the fear-based move to sell—that is the more dangerous one. In fact, even if one was the world’s worst market timer over the past several decades, one still made money on stocks, according to an analysis done by institutional portfolio manager and financial writer Ben Carlson.

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Written By: Alex Rosenberg