Historically, the stock market has averaged 10% a year. While we have to ride through volatility to achieve this average, if we do not have some money in the stock market we simply won’t beat the rate of inflation, and in the long run the value of our savings will erode.
Every day, we hear on the news or TV quips about what the “market” is doing. The market is up 135 points, down 245 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was this, and the NASDAQ was that. Most people understand that these numbers relate positively and negatively to the value of their stock investments, few people understand what these benchmarks actually represent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (the “Dow”) The Dow Jones Industrial Average, also referred to as the Industrial Average, the Dow Jones, the Dow 30, or simply the Dow, is one of several stock market indices created by Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & Company co-founder Charles Dow. The average is named after Dow and one of his business associates, statistician Edward Jones. It is an index that shows how 30 large, publicly owned companies based in the United States have traded during a standard trading session in the stock market.  It is the second oldest U.S. market index after the Dow Jones Transportation Average, which Dow also created.
The phrases “financial planning”, “family finance” and “estate planning” are ones we hear often in the media. There always seems to be one expert or another touting their wisdom or promoting an idea or product. Much of the information out there seems to be contradictory. However, there are some basic truisms in finance, and that is what I will focus on in this chapter.