Due to the high uncertainty of cash flows associated with investments in corporates, equities tend to be more volatile in the short term than cash or bonds. That said, equity can provide a better outcome over the long term than cash or bonds, We demonstrate this in the chart below. In the chart, a solid line shows the expected growth of R100 over time in an asset class. The dotted line shows the -3 standard deviations from the mean of each asset class; 99.87% of the return distribution sits above this line. An interesting finding here is that, for investment periods longer than 11 years, equity bottoms sit higher than cash bottoms, and for periods longer than 13 years, equity bottoms sit higher than bonds bottoms. You do not have to know the math behind this. The bottom line is the finding underscores the importance of long holding period when investing in equities.