time4In the conclusion of an informative David Ning piece on usnews.com, he cites additional ways in which “investors have come out ahead over the past decade.”

“You can take advantage of super low cost investment products with almost instantaneous liquidity. Anyone with at least a couple hundred bucks can invest in a S&P 500 index fund and participate in the market’s long-term upward trend. The cost of index funds for investors can be as low as 0.05 percent for ongoing expenses. Selling an investment because you need cash for an emergency is easy when you have online account access. Individuals who have only small amounts of cash to invest now have more opportunities to do so and at a lower price than their parents ever did.

“Consistent savers have come out ahead already. It’s true that a crash can come at any time, but the paper money lost is just giving back some of the gains you made before the decline. Keep buying and holding and you will be extremely likely to come out ahead in the long run. Those who stayed the course over the past five years have seen significant growth in their portfolios. You could have doubled your money by buying the Vanguard S&P 500 index fund in April 2004 and holding on for the past 10 years. Even those who held back during the thick of the financial crisis made out decently.

“There will always be doom and gloom warnings about various investments, but following the wisdom of the crowd can be very costly when it comes to investing. Unless you know exactly when a crash is coming, which no one has been able to predict with consistency, then it’s best to buy, hold and enjoy the ride up. Shape up your finances and motivate yourself to save more. Life as a modern day investor is actually pretty good.”