2015 was not a good year for investors.
Nearly 70% of investors lost money, according to Openfolio, an app that tracks investment performance for individual investors and compares their portfolio to other investors.
“While the S&P 500 is on track to end 2015 almost exactly where it started, earnings have deteriorated,” says Matt Coffina of Morningstar.
People who broke even or earned money held a lot of cash or took on a lot of risk, both areas that investment books tell us will lead to a negative return.
While cash earns almost nothing in the bank or in a money market fund, it still beat most U.S. stocks, commodities, and even most bonds.
The S&P 500 and Dow stock indexes had wild swings and ended the year in the red. Even the most popular bonds, like the Fidelity Total Bond Fund and the Pimco Income Fund, were down 4% or more.
There were a few big bets that paid off. Both Amazon and Netflix earned big returns in 2015. Both stocks gained over 120% for the year, meaning a $10,000 investment on January 1 would be worth about $22,000 now.
Other big winners included Disney and Facebook shareholders.
Apple was one of the most popular held stocks among Openfolio users but its stock ended up down 4% in 2015.