Back in the day, before October 2008, history used to be a reliable guide to investing with stocks or exchange traded funds (ETFs). Now the best advice is not to assume that whatever happened in the past will happen in the future.

The old investment advice was that history was a reliable and informative guide to investing, however, a recent finding has turned this mindset up side down. Allen Sloan for says that historically, stocks have produced the greatest long-term return of any financial asset, and “stocks for the long-term” was the traditional mantra.

The following points remind us of why history will no longer be called upon for investment decisions. Sure, the past can be a guide. But in the investing world, the same things do not happen over and over again. Nothing can be banked upon.

Sloan notes that this is the second extended bear market since 2000, and it took seven years for stocks to regain the highs they saw prior to that. Stocks over time can deliver good returns, but you can get clobbered for extended periods.

This is why we’ve often stated that the buy-and-hold strategy is dead. Investors simply cannot afford to lose that kind of time making up lost ground.

Please use your investment strategy when looking at the markets. At ETF Trends, we like to see positions moving above their 200 day-moving-average before considering going in. Also be sure to watch market trends, as this will help you make sound decisions.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.