#4: Extreme Volatility
The market saw some wild price swings this year, and since August we’ve seen stocks go from angry bear to jubilant bull seemingly at will. We witnessed multiple days of 300- and 400-point swings in the Dow, and big spikes in the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX. The rampant volatility in stocks caused traders some big headaches this year, as many were caught long when the market tanked, and short when the market surged. This extreme volatility has made 2011 one of the toughest years for investors trying to time the market.