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Monday, March 13, 2006

Look Long Term And Watch It Grow

Star Parker discusses a study that shows that people's openness to choice is largely informed by their education level.

The issue of private accounts replacing social security retirement funding saw 50% in favor from college graduates but only 35% in favor from those with only a high school education. However, another study saw blacks almost 50-50 as respects school choice. The explanation why there is not a higher percentage against school choice may be that inner- city schools are soo bad that any school option (charter schools or voucher programs) is really no choice at all. Anything would be better.

As far as the riskiness of the stock market, history shows that such investment is incredibly safe and profitable so long as there is sufficient diversity of stocks. Today, mutual funds investments protect investors with that kind of diversity while the decisions of what specific stocks should be purchased and sold are left to professionals, fiduciaries over these portfolios. The latter removes the ratinal fear of the individual that he does not have enough knowledge regarding investing.

When I graduated law school I worked in the fiduciary division of a large CPA firm. I saw from doing the tax returns for wealthy clients that they earned massive amounts of wealth through their stock ownership. They did not necessarily make money from buying and selling. They made money by buying and holding onto the investments for decades. It was the spread of investments coupled with time of ownership that resulted in my placing many zeros (as in millions of dollars) in the various columns of the estate and trust tax returns. Their long period of ownership helped them avoid market downturns that occasionally occurred. I have read that in 75 years there have been only 2 rolling 10-year periods where the market has gone down. So, 2 out of 75 periods had losses! I'll take a 97% chance at increased investments.

I learned the secret of long-term stock ownership well before I had any money. I did not start investing in a retirement account until I was in my forties. Now, we all can become long-term investors with 401Ks and IRAs. As I reach an age where I will be unable to opt out of Social Security, I know that my modest investments made from paycheck to paycheck in personal retirement accounts will grow for a very fair return.

I am saddened that many others will be unable to protect themselves with retirement accounts because of the untrue claims by opponents of personal retirement accounts.

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