What I KNOW is that, not including dividends, one would be up 7.3% less tax by the DJIA, 9.9% less tax by VTSMX, and 11.8% less tax by the SP500, since I got out. This does not include the small 401k that I took to cash recently, which represents a tiny, tiny fraction of total holdings. I was in until the end of 2013, and realized the bulk of the gains in your 3- and 5-year timeframes.
And Yes, after tax I have left pre-tax "returns" since then in the dust, and have actually realized my gain. Dividends make no substantial difference to the outcome of this calculus. And yes, I have had to work more to achieve the gains that I have, than I would have had to work to achieve merely market gains.
I'm saying nothing new.
As far as gold goes, I have only a tiny amount at the moment. I have held off on any significant buy partly because I have been too busy, and partly because I distrust the gold market. Because the whole thing is manipulated, I would need to be absolutely sure that I could consider the money "invested" to be gone for good. My problem is that I can put capital to use myself, so I hesitate to go into something like dead money. To make a big gold buy, I would really have to be convinced that conditions favoring the deployment of capital were going to be terrible.
I'm not quite there yet, but I'm close in my risk:reward feeling.
Hey all Flagpoles out there, WTF? Where are you? Come out from under your rocks. Tell us something wise. DO something. Don't be passive. Convince us that you know anything. Convince us that anything you have gained is a result of anything you have done, and that you are not just hanging around in the current (currently an eddy). Convince us that your strategy will carry the day over some defined time-frame into the future, and offer some suggested reasons.
You're looking like you know SQUAT, and just waiting for something good to happen that is totally beyond not just your control, but your understanding, and even your awareness.
You guys are good at disparaging and denying when it LOOKS to you like things are going your way. Remember this: "Nobody can time the markets"? What a bunch of bull. I've done it successfully once again. I re-iterate that it is about understanding, having, and making options available to yourself, which requires effort, energy, thought, dedication, and some conviction and courage--all of which you lazy shlts lack.
Where the F are you now? Come out and take your beating. Come out and tell me that you're buying. LMAO. Of all the people I know who actually invest, I have the least money. And all--and I mean ALL except for one--have gone mostly to cash in the past while. They're buying some other assets, too, but NOBODY is in the markets in any real way.
Do you hear what I'm saying? NONE. And these are people with money. And the one contrarian is an idiot who believes that the future lies in sugar.
They are NOT buying, but I know YOU are, right?
Come on in, tell us what is up, how great everything is. No doubt you will wait until the election resolves itself, hopefully for you in favor of Hillary the GS shill, so that markets will somehow rise. At that point I might get back in, it depends on what else is happening, but if I do, I will get in using a lot more money that I would have had had I remained in the markets, and will be vastly ahead of you.
agip, can you tell me why you feel that you should, or must, own stocks?