Smart Money

Index Funds Can Deliver Good Return

DEAR BRUCE: In your column, you repeatedly advise people of various ages that they have to have some money in the stock market or they will lose out in the long run. You seem to be talking about individual stocks. Are the index funds that follow the Standard and Poor's market just as good as several individual stocks and possibly a little safer? -- Wayne

DEAR WAYNE: Index funds certainly do exceptionally well and are as good as several individual stocks in many cases, particularly if you don't wish to follow the market on a regular basis. In the past year, many of the index funds outperformed the more traditional investments. With that being the case, I have no problem with them.

Are they safer? Maybe a little. Do they pay more? Usually, but sometimes they pay less.

DEAR BRUCE: My wife heard someone talking about how much I would have now if I had purchased bitcoin stock seven years ago. I never really thought it had a chance and never gave it much thought. Still don't, actually.

My wife can't get over the missed opportunity we had. We are in our 50s. Do you have any wisdom I might share with her? It isn't always easy, but I'm still trying to do what's right. -- R.R.

DEAR R.R.: Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life. It is never too late. Stop worrying about missed opportunities and start investing in the marketplace. It is really the only place you're ever going to get an opportunity to catch up. At 50, you still have 15 to 20 years of saving, which can do marvelous things if you consistently save every single payday. Good luck.

(Send questions to Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.)

(The Bruce Williams Radio Show can now be heard 24/7 via iTunes and at It is also available at

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