A recent article in The Wall Street Journal says that stocks mostly go up in the long run, unless faced with political turmoil or war.
Citing the example of Japan’s Nikkei 225 index, the article outlines the following observations:
- The index hit 30,000 for the first time in three decades last month, but still has not reached its 1989 level.
- If an investor had entered the Nikkei at its peak, in December 1989, “it may well have looked pretty bleak at times,” but today that investor would be “sitting relatively pretty.”
Even those who invested before the crash would not have lost that much: “Equity returns were so explosive in the years prior to the bubble bursting that many were never left underwater.”
The article notes, “There are certainly circumstances in which long-term equity market investment doesn’t make money, but most are related to political turmoil or war.” It concludes, “For anyone investing over a 30- or 40-year period, losing money investing in equities would be truly unlucky—or caused by circumstances so extreme that very few alternatives would offer a return either.”