The story of the tortoise and the hare is an apt analogy for today's saving and investing climate. While higher yields than are currently available in CDs could get savers to their goals more quickly, the certainty of receiving the stated yield and getting principal back at the end could be more appealing to some savers than the sky-high returns promised by some other investments.
For instance, in the stock market lately dazzling returns are harder to come by. A recent report by Goldman Sachs showed that the fates of individual stocks are more closely linked to the overall market than they have been in a year.
The website CNNMoney reported on the study in the story "Goldman Sachs: Stock picking isn't paying off."
So-called idiosyncratic risk -- how much an individual stock deviates from the performance of the overall stock market -- is at its lowest level since July 2011. And that makes it tough to find stocks that stand out from the crowd.
Being in the market at all can seem a bit defeating for some investors. Over the past year, the S&P 500 has returned 1.66 percent with quite a bit of volatility in the interim. A five-year CD purchased July 13 would have had an average yield of 1.62, percent according to Bankrate's records.
It's for that very reason that experts recommend staying out of stocks unless you have a long time horizon. In the long run, short-term volatility recedes to a blip while in the moment it can feel like a terrifying free fall.
Of course, it's never an either/or scenario. There is room -- and even a need -- for all types of investments within a portfolio.
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