Monday, December 22, 2008

Saving accounts vs. stock market

Most people decide that the stock market is just too risky for them to put their hard earned money into. I know many savers out there who would rather put their money into a savings account then into the markets.

This way they can go for the sure thing, the government insured return, but what are you actually getting when you invest your money into a savings account? Say your bank pays you 2% interest in your savings account, and you put $10,000 into it.
After 1 year you have $10,200 and it appears you have found a safe way to let your money grow. But hold on; let’s look at some facts first. Inflation normally hangs around the 3% range. This means that in order for you to have the same buying power as you did last year you need to have $10,300.

So even though you made $200 in paper money, you’re buying power actually decreased by $100. And if you factor taxes into that you will find that saving accounts are the only for sure way to lose buying power and get taxed on it at the same time. Losing around 1% in value per year isn’t exactly something you make up in the long run.

Now suppose you invest that money into the SPY which goes up 10% annually on average, you would have $11,000 after 1 year, on average and because you only need $10,300 to keep the same buying power not only is your paper money increasing but you’re buying power is too.

And suppose you educate yourself to make 20%, 30% or more off of your money annually, that would do so much more for your wealth then a savings account ever could. Also what is the limit on the return you can expect from the market? There isn’t one, your returns can be as large or as small as you can possible imagine and shoot for.

That isn’t to say the markets are without risk. You always have the chance of losing money in the markets. But if you manage your risk and let your winners ride it can be a great place to make money.

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