Illustration shows the return distribution of all-cash portfolios over 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month periods following 3-month periods in which equities declined 10% or more from January 1980 through December 2023. Investors have a 74% probability of underperforming the market, with an average underperformance of 4.1%, when they have moved their balanced 60% stock/40% bond portfolios into 100% cash for three months after a severe market event. Portfolio underperformance gets worse for those who convert their balanced portfolios to cash and hold it over longer periods of time. Converting a 60/40 portfolio to cash has led to a 71% probability of underperformance over a six-month period, with an average underperformance of 7.4%. Investors who have converted their 60/40 portfolio to cash and held it for 12 months have an 87% probability of underperforming, with an average underperformance of 13.3%.