I was certainly always taught that if you buy stocks and hold them for the long run, that's going to ourperform other investments. But via Ezra Klein, The Wall Street Journal points out that this hasn't held up recently:
The stock market is trading right where it was nine years ago. Stocks, long touted as the best investment for the long term, have been one of the worst investments over the nine-year period, trounced even by lowly Treasury bonds.
You can see the chart to the left. Dean Baker wonders what would happen if instead of Social Security benefits everybody retiring right now had just lost a bunch of money in the stock market. It's a good question. I suppose it's always also worth wondering amidst a downturn if the seemingly too-high risk premium that sticks have traditionally paid might just go away -- maybe the free ride is over.