Principle 1

You Need the Stock Market

Who needs the stock market? You do! That is, if you want to retire some day. Or if you have children and you'd like to help them pay for college. Or if you have a future dream/goal/plan that requires more money than you have now.

For as long as people have been keeping track of such things, the stock market has provided the best long-term returns of any asset class. As you can see in the chart below, the stock market's long-term average annual return is better than bonds, gold, housing, and cash.

Sources: Performance data for Stocks, Bonds, Cash, and Inflation are from Ibbotson and Associates and are based, respectively, on S&P 500 Total Return, 20-Year US Treasury Bonds, 30-Day T-Bills, and the U.S. Government's Consumer Price Index. Gold returns are based on price data published by Real Estate returns are based on housing data compiled by economist Robert Shiller. The Real Estate data set dates back to 1928 rather than to 1926.