A bubble chart shows the percentage of time periods (one, three, and six months and one, three, and five years) when both U.S. stocks and bonds experienced negative returns and when a 60% stock/40% bond portfolio experienced negative returns.
While stocks and bonds have both experienced negative performance in the same month 15.7% of the time, over the same three-month period 9.6% of the time, and over the same six-month period 4.9% of the time, these two asset classes have both experienced negative total returns only 2.3% of the time over one-year periods. Since 1976, investors have never experienced a three- or five-year period during which both stocks and bonds produced losses.
A similar pattern exists with a 60/40 portfolio, which has produced negative returns over a one-month period 33.9% of the time, over the same three-month period 25.7% of the time, and over the same six-month period 19.8% of the time.
But over longer periods of time, a 60/40 portfolio has proven more resilient. Over one-year periods, it has produced negative returns 15.4% of the time. Over three- and five-year periods, it has produced negative returns just 8.0% and 0.6% of the time, respectively.