Except for transaction costs and taxes... which are significant.
If you buy and sell the same equity every day for 5 years and I buy it once and hold it for 5 years, our numbers are very different.
I agree with the paper losses comment though.
I think if it like this
Risk = chance if permanent loss... like GM in 2008-2009 or .com stocks in 2000 or (maybe) some social media stocks today.
Volatility = the roughness of the ride.
I think stuff like VTI have low risk, moderate to high volatility whereas stuff like Greek banks have high risk and high volatility.
I've learned by being smashed in the face a few times to avoid things that seem risky by that definition. That includes
-single stocks with lots of debt or unsustainable dividend payouts
-single stocks that don't make sense to me (most banks, most insurance companies)
-single stocks in fields that seem like they change direction a lot (most tech and pharma)
-any other fancy investments
So what I have is mostly stock/bond low cost index funds and a few stocks I feel like are cheap-ish and safe-ish.
Also most of the S&P components were down last year... the index seemed better because a few companies did insanely well... and that seems to be changing now.
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