We have all been told by the stock market proponents that you cannot time the market and you have to invest in the stock market for the long term. If you bought at the top of the market in 1998 your gain was about 81% but if you bought at the bottom of the market your gain was about 140%, a difference of nearly 60%. If you bought at the top of the market in 2000 your gain was about 28% but if you waited and bought at the bottom of the market in 2002, less than two years later, your gain was about 131%, a difference of about 103%.
An excerpt by David Franklin taken from The Real Estate Investment Network
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