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Financial journalists periodically stoke investors’ record-high anxiety by suggesting the laws of physics apply to financial markets—that what goes up must come down. 
But shares are not heavy objects kept aloft through strenuous effort. They are perpetual claim tickets on companies’ earnings and dividends. 
If stocks have a positive expected return, reaching record highs with some frequency is exactly the outcome we would expect. 
Recent Dimensional research suggests that simply staying invested helps outpace inflation over the long term for a wide range of asset classes. 
The protection offered by inflation-indexed securities still appears to be the most effective for investors who are particularly sensitive to unexpected inflation. 
Stock market declines over a few days or months may lead investors to anticipate a down year. But the US stock market had positive returns in 16 of the past 20 calendar years, despite some notable dips in many of those years. 
You only live once! Social media investors have banded together on unconventional platforms to drive up the prices of a handful of “meme stocks,” seemingly without traditional evaluation of investing risks and rewards. 
The year 2020 proved to be one of the most tumultuous in modern history, marked by a number of developments that were historically unprecedented. But the year also demonstrated the resilience of people, institutions, and financial markets. 
Do you find it puzzling when a bleak economic report emerges from the press, only to be accompanied by a positive surge in the stock market? You’re not alone. The last few weeks have produced many examples of a stark contrast between stock market performance and economic indicators. So why the apparent disconnect? 
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