One of the best articles I've seen regarding the volatility (and risk)of stocks is Peter Lynch's "Fear of Crashing" in the September 95 Worth magazine. His basic message is that although being invested in stocks carries a risk, the bigger risk is NOT investing because of a fear of crashing. He goes through the big up & down moves in the market since 1954, demonstrating that if you were out of the market (because of fear) for the 40 most profitable months over the 40 years from 1954-95, your return drops from 11.4% to 2.7%, and your savings account outperforms your brokerage account. Bottom line: Put 100% of your money in stocks and keep it in.I've followed this advice successfully since 1995. In fact, I don't even keep an emergency fund - I have the largest home equity line of credit possible, and I use it as my emergency fund, allowing me to keep my emergency $s invested.
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