Should you put all your savings into stocks?

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Less than two months of 2024 have passed, but the year has already been a pleasing one for stockmarket investors. The S&P 500 index of big American companies is up by 5%, having passed 5,000 for the first time ever, driven by a surge in enthusiasm for tech giants, such as Meta and Nvidia. On February 22nd Japan’s Nikkei 225 passed its own record, set in 1989. The roaring start to the year has revived an old debate: should investors go all in on equities?

A few bits of research are being discussed in financial circles. One was published in October by Aizhan Anarkulova, Scott Cederburg and Michael O’Doherty, a trio of academics. They make the case for a portfolio of 100% equities, an approach that flies in the face of longstanding mainstream advice, which suggests a mixture of stocks and bonds is best for most investors. A portfolio solely made up of stocks (albeit half American and half global) is likely to beat a diversified approach, the authors argue—a finding based on data going back to 1890.

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