Stock prices seem increasingly volatile. So much so that those saving for and those living in retirement are becoming increasingly fearful of putting their life savings at risk in markets that fall and rise as they have this year.

But a study that examines historical stock price volatility might help allay those fears.

The study, in The Journal of Wealth Management, measured changes in the variability of equity returns on a daily and monthly basis and tested whether volatility has changed from 1926 through 2014.

What the authors found was this: Stock market volatility has increased, but only when measured on a daily basis,  wrote Kenneth Washer, a professor at Creighton University, Randy Jorgensen, an associate professor at Creighton, and Robert Johnson, president and CEO of the American College of Financial Services. “When measured using monthly increments, there has been no discernable change in return volatility.”

And that is good news for investors. “Long-term investors can take comfort that many of the large daily price declines are at least partially offset by similar price increases and that when measured over longer periods, volatility has not increased,” the authors wrote.


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