How Safe Is Safe Investing?

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Executive Summary

Is there really such a thing as safe investing? After all, municipalities can default on their bonds, companies can cut their dividends and a market meltdown can wipe out even the most foolproof investment strategy. Let's face it: Even buy-and-hold investors lost money over the last decade simply by leaving their portfolios alone. Yet even if the market holds up and nothing catastrophic happens, a "Safe" investing strategy can still lose money. For example, a money market fund yielding an annual interest rate of 1 percent erodes by 2 percent a year if inflation rises by 3 percent a year or more.

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