Did you just miss out on 8.9% gains in four days?
The index has increased every day since it bottomed-out last Thursday, closing 8.9% higher than its low point yesterday.
The last time the FTSE had such a successful run was October 2011, when the market rose 9.2% over the same time frame. If markets also rise today, it will be the longest and largest rally since November 2008.
But experts warn markets are currently very volatile, and there’s no certainty that the recent run will continue.
Laith Khalif, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown says: "We’re in a trampoline market right now, where stocks are bouncing around wildly almost every day. Very often the stocks that fall to the bottom of the Footsie on one day rise to the top on the next. The implication is that fundamentals have gone out of the window and sentiment is dominating market movements.”
So while it might be futile to chase returns, recent performance does support recent warnings that trying to time the market is futile, and can be extremely damaging for long term returns.
When markets were in flux in mid-January, Tom Stevenson, investment director for personal investing at Fidelity International said: “It’s difficult to predict the best time to be in and out of the market, especially as the best and worst days very often tend to be bunched together during periods of heightened volatility.”
This was supported by figures from Fidelity showing that someone who’d invested £1,000 in the FTSE-all share 30 years ago would have missed out on half the potential gains if they’d missed the ten best days of the index’s history, costing them £6,922.
At the time, Stevenson advised: “It’s usually more prudent to stay fully invested through market cycles as missing even a handful of the best days in the market can seriously compromise your long-term returns. As the old stock market adage goes; time in the market matters more than timing the market.”
Want to get started? Read our Beginner’s guide to investing in the stock market.
Biggest four-day FTSE 100 surges of all time:
Source: Moneywise using Yahoo data.
The term is interchangeable with stock exchange, and is a market that deals in securities where market forces determine the price of securities traded. Stockmarket can refer to a specific exchange in a specific country (such as the London Stock Exchange) or the combined global stockmarkets as a single entity. The first stockmarket was established in Amsterdam in 1602 and the first British stock exchange was founded in 1698.
A market-weighted index of the 100 biggest companies by market capitalisation listed on the London Stock Exchange. It is often referred to as “The Footsie”. The index began on 3 January 1984 with a base level of 1000; the highest value reached to date is 6950.6, on 30 December 1999. The index is “weighted” by how the movements of each of the 100 constituents affect the index, so larger companies make more of a difference to the index than smaller ones. To ensure it is a true and accurate representation of the most highly capitalised companies in the UK, just like football’s Premier League, every three months the FTSE 100 “relegates” the bottom three companies in the 100 whose market capitalisation has fallen and “promotes” to the index the three companies whose market capitalisation has grown sufficiently to warrant inclusion. Around 80% of the companies listed on the London Stock Exchange are included in the FTSE 100.