If you buy the local STI index near the peak of the 2000 dotcom bubble at around 2400 & hold it till now u're losing money(2.43%/pa) to inflation(assuming conservative 3%).
Only return you'll have is the dividend yield. Yes it sure beats putting $ in fixed deposits. Although the index fund is only available to the public in 2002, the chart is to illustrate why buying at wrong time will lead to dismay performance of one's portfolio & a slow train to accumulating one's nestegg.
If one knows how to short, it is an exciting time cause money is made even faster on the down moves.