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Subject:  Re: Ordinary People...Extraordinary Wealth Date:  3/2/2001  6:00 PM
Author:  lazyfrog Number:  39 of 220

The other thing, as many people have found, is that putting money in the market is not a sure thing....if you had gotten a big bonus in March of 2000, and rather than making a big payment toward your mortgage, you sunk it in the market in march of 2000, you would be down 10 or 20%, depending what you put it in...if you stuck it in high tech, you could be down 80%....

Of course NOTHING is a sure thing. But the scenario of the market going down 10% to 20% in any given year is kind of a short sighted way of looking at the "pay down your mortgage" quandry. All you can really do is go with probabilities. And the probabilities say that long term (not even very long) the return in the market will beat the "return" you'll get on your mortgage. Probabilities also say that the market goes UP 75% of the time. The odds seem to be in favor of investing in the market. And even if most people were to try and pay off their mortgage early, it might take them 10 years to do so. I doubt seriously that the stock market would have lost to mortgage rates over such a long period of time. (Although I guess it's possible.)

Further, even if the return you would get in the market were equal to the return on the mortgage, the fact remains that YOU CAN'T SPEND YOUR HOUSE. I think cash is always king. To me, that's peace of mind. And I think most of the millionaires profiled by Edelman and Thomas Stanley agree with that sentiment.

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