The best way in my view is to just buy a low-cost index fund and keep buying it regularly over time.

- Warren Buffet

Really? Infamously, Nikkei reached its peak in 1989, and in 2016 it is still around 60% below that peak. Any investor who bought Nikkei in January 1990 would by today have lost 60% of their money. Would it have been a good idea to start buying Nikkei in 1990?
Well, here is a graph of Nikkei, and the performance of a hypothetical investor who would have been buying ¥ 100 worth of Nikkei every month since January 1990:

 

 

Nikkei was by the worst performing major index over that period. If our investor had been investing say £ 100 monthly in the FTSE 100 over the same period, here is how they would have done, compared to how they would have done by saving the same amount in a bank account:

 

 

And here is how they would have done by investing $ 10 each month in the S&P 500:

 

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