A historic downturn and dizzying comeback show markets still have the capacity to surprise us all

Here is something many investors would have found difficult to believe during Marchs stomach-churning selloff: 2020 would turn out to be a stellar year for the stock market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is at a record. The market for initial public offerings is flourishing. Just weeks ago, home-rental startup Airbnb Inc. made a stock-market debut so stunning that its chief executive was briefly left speechless on live television.
These are things that would be easy to imagine in boom times. But 2020 has been anything but that for the world outside Wall Street. The cold reality is that the markets rally has occurred in the midst of a catastrophic pandemic that has killed more than a million people, halted business and travel and wreaked havoc on the economy. Although there are plenty of reasons for the markets comeback, not the least of which is the Federal Reserves massive intervention, the staggering rally is still difficult to comprehend for many investors.
The path we took to get here is something we never, ever, ever would have foreseen, said Ralph Bassett, head of equities for North America at Aberdeen Standard Investments.
Here are the lessons investors say they have learned from an unforgettable year.