Unless I'm very confused the original premise is bunk! S&P500 close on 30/12/1994 was 459.27, and on 31/12/2014 it was 2058.90. That would grow $10k to $44,830. Even if you cherrypicked the worst day of 1995 and the best of 2014 you barely get over $45k. Your storyteller must have been doing some duckin' and divin' in the market themselves! Sounds like I should check out that "best 10 days" claim too!