Over time, nothing beats the stock market. So the oldest investing story goes. In the 20-aughts, the rule of the thumb didn't apply. If you put $100,000 into an S&P 500 index fund Jan. 1, 2000, adjusted for inflation, your money would be worth about $69,000 today.
Nonetheless, a New York Times columnist today tut-tuts the "lost decade" commentary of late. Most investors don't put all their money in stocks, he writes. They save regularly. They cost-average. They own bonds and CDs. Ten years isn't that long a period in the great scheme of things. Etc. He paints several scenarios by which investors might have even come out way ahead over the last 10 years.
This, of course, is a column for people who HAVE money left over after paying for a roof, food and health care.
How was your decade? Thanks to over-emphasis on aggressive stock funds, mine wasn't so hot.