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Stock Market Declines Can Help Long-term Investors

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But does it make sense to invest in stocks now, she asked?I explained that I couldn’t give advice about buying particular stocks, and instead favor index funds of the kind she already owns. Those funds eliminate the risk of owning the wrong specific stocks at the wrong times. Index funds that track broad markets have provided an easy and inexpensive way for ordinary investors to capture the overall returns of the financial markets since John C. Bogle made them widely available at Vanguard in 1976.But with the stock market in a broad decline since the beginning of this year, and bonds falling as well, that may not seem to be saying much. Despite occasional rallies, the S&P 500 is down 18 percent for the year. Bonds have lost money, too. My personal portfolio, which includes bonds as well as stocks, has lost about 13 percent.Ouch! I’m not happy about that.But …

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