The Impact of TIME when you INVEST

The phrase "time heals all wounds" may be first attributed to the Greek poet Menander... according to Google. I don't know him nor do I know the kind of life he lived, but he had a point. It is amazing what TIME can do when you invest, especially when your initial stock market experience is poor. Allow me to show you with two fake people.


the impact of time when you invest

The phrase time heals all wounds may be first attributed to the Greek poet Menander... according to Google. I don't know him nor do I know the kind of life he lived, but he had a point.

It is amazing what TIME can do when you invest, especially when your initial stock market experience is poor.

Allow me to show you with two fake people.


Carmen & Claire both received $1,000,000 in the year 2002. I'm not sure why.

Carmen invested his money on his birthday May 20th, 2002

Claire invested her money on her birthday July 15th, 2002

They are both invested in the Russell 3000 Index.

The Russell 3000 is an index of the 3,000 largest US companies - aka a good bench mark for the US stock market.

You cannot invest directly in an index. Don't you ever forget it!

The returns below are annualized, not total.


The end of 2002

Carmen -19.94% ($800,600)

Claire -3.61% ($963,900)

Carmen is wounded. Claire feels okay after talking to Carmen. They're acquaintances by the way, having recently met.

The end of 2003

Carmen 3.01%

Claire 17.29%

Carmen feels better than last year, but still.... He distances himself from Claire and her success.

The end of 2004

Carmen 6.33%

Claire 15.07%

Carmen is coming around to the market as time passes, he reconnects with Claire.

The end of 2006

Carmen 8.25%

Claire 13.15%

Two more years gone by. Carmen and Claire's returns grow closer to one another, as does their friendship.

The end of 2008

Carmen -0.76%

Claire 2.11%

The great recession of 2008 wipes away all the progress Carmen made and most of the progress Claire had made. But Carmen and Claire find strength to carry on, together.

The end of 2010

Carmen 4.21%

Claire 6.6%

Their returns have never been closer, or their relationship. They are FINALLY dating.

The end of 2012

Carmen 4.99%

Claire 6.94%

At the end of a little over a decade (a rough decade in the market albeit), they both feel so so about the market, especially Carmen... but just wait for what is in store the next 11 years, both in the market and with their new found relationship.

The next 11 years

The end of 2014

Carmen 7.6%

Claire 9.31%

I would be very grateful with either of these annualized returns over an almost 13 year period of time. And guess what, Carmen and Claire are talking about marriage.

The end of 2016

Carmen 7.44%

Claire 8.91%

This is where the story really heats up. Their returns are only 1.47% apart at this point, after the wide chasm of 16.33% that they began with. Carmen is feeling just as confident in investing as Claire always has, it's going to his head, Claire misses humble and kind Carmen, it causes division and pain. They both take a break and go their separate ways. Will they end up together?

The end of 2018

Carmen 7.4%

Claire 8.69%

Carmen and Claire happen upon each other at the airport. Carmen was going on a trip with some friends trying to find happiness, Claire was going to visit some family. Serendipitous? Some think so...

The end of 2020

Carmen 9.25%

Claire 10.43%

After their fated encounter in the airport, Carmen continued seeking happiness in all the wrong places, Claire always remaining in the back of his mind. Carmen began to wonder, "Am I really that great at investing or has it simply been the passage of time that has brought our returns so close together... and my pride that has pushed us so far apart?"

The end of 2023

It has been nearly 22 years since they first met each other, and invested their money. Carmen can't get Claire out of his mind, it's time to do something about it. He looks her up and goes directly to her condo. He knocks on the door, nervously shifting back and forth. The door swings open, a familiar voice surprisingly asks, "Carmen, what are you doing here!?". Carmen responds, now confident in his aim, "Hi Claire, I have two questions for you." "Okay..." Claire says still taken back.

"First, what is your annualized return in your investment account as of Dec 31st, 2023?"

"10.16%" Claire replies.

"Fascinating... mine is 9.15%." carmen almost shouts from excitement.

"Carmen, why are you really here..." Claire mutters as confused as ever.

"Claire, I've come to realize that TIME can make a massive difference in your investment experience, both in the short term and in the long term. I timed things poorly initially when I invested, you timed things much better, the gap between our returns was large in those early years... BUT, as time passed, our annualized returns grew closer. I thought it was my expertise causing this gap to shrink, but really, it was simply my discipline to stay the course, and more importantly, the passage of time. I know this now... I'd like to ask you my second question."

Now Claire shifts nervously...

"Will you marry me and combine your investment account with mine so i don't have to compare with you anymore?"


Claire did say yes to marriage, Carmen and Claire will be married in 2024. What a love story.

At the end of this nearly 22 year span

Carmen has $7,151,941

Claire has $8,730,071


BE PATIENT - Carmen stayed the course despite some really poor performance initially AND after losing all his gains during the 2008 recession. This patience and discipline led to his $1mm dollars turning into over $7mm dollars.

DON'T COMPARE - There is a lot that goes into someone's investment experience. Time and timing can be a large contributing factor, as demonstrated here. Remember, the only difference between Carmen and Claire was about 57 days between when they both invested.

THIS EXAMPLE IS EXTREME - Most people don't receive $1,000,000 dollars when they are young and invest it all right away (nor can they invest directly in an index with no cost). Most people invest on a monthly or yearly basis, less when they are younger, more as they grow older and make more money. This will blunt the impact of poor timing (like Carmen) initially.

KEEP INVESTING - I'm aware of some who pulled a "Carmen" and timed their initial investment in the stock market poorly. I'm aware of others who timed their initial few years in the stock market poorly, growing sour towards it. If you have TIME, a market correction is an opportunity, keep investing.

DON'T WAIT TO INVEST - I know some of you are thinking you want to be just like Claire. The chances are slim... she is fake, she was magically granted $1,000,000 and she timed her investment almost perfectly. While you wait on the sidelines to time things, the stock market will likely be rising without you... statistically.

Sources & Disclosures found in the video link on Youtube