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Overtime, well managed companies are usually able to increase prices and pass increasing costs through to customers. Hence, you can often get total returns beyond dividends.

Other investments like collectables, land, real estate, etc., can do just as well or better. But you have to buy them right and know what you are doing. Stocks are easier because much information is published that make researching them easier.

Stocks usually do better than bonds over time. Hence, they are an excellent way to keep up with inflation (or even make money) when you pick them right.
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