In October of 1987 the Dow Jones Index was trading around 2,500. My uncle Bob decided to trust me with his $100,000 investment. By the time Halloween was rolling around, the only thing spooky was his account as I had managed to turn his balance into just shy of $69,000! That account bounced around until after Christmas (needless to say I didn’t receive a Christmas present that year!).
To my surprise, he stuck with our original investment plan (though he didn’t ask me to manage any more of his money!). It took until July of 1989 for his investment to fully recover back to the $100,000 mark. As much I thought he would ask me for his original money back, he left it with me (though he didn’t ask me to manage any more of his money). His account balance at the end of March was just north of $1,600,000 as he has never touched his account.
In hindsight does it particularly matter that the Dow went from 2,500 to 1,800? Sure, the 30% decline was very painful at the time, but I learned an important lesson from that experience. Wealth is built over time. Buy quality companies when they are on sale and you will be rewarded for your patience.