Diana Nyad made her first attempt in 1978 when she was 33 years old. She was going to be the first person to swim from the Hemmingway sea wall in Cuba to Florida, USA. Thirty-five years later, she is the first unassisted person to do so without the safety (and drafting help) of a shark cage.
I am certain that I will meet Diana someday. You may too. How do I know? I just know--and, of course, the odds are slightly in my favor since she is a well-regarded public speaker and I enjoy those types of things.
What dreams did you have back in 1978?
In 1978, the Dow Jones Industrial average lost a little over 3% to end the year at 805. When Diana finished her swim, it was at 14,801 (or so). The market rose 14,000 points, or 18 times its value over that period of time.
During this 35-year period, bonds have had the best run in their history. Interest rates have fallen from their historic highs and plummeted to their historic lows, and the average annual rate of returns for bonds has been the highest we may see in our lifetimes.
This incredible bull run on bonds would have tripled every dollar in your portfolio. An uncommonly good return for a bond portfolio.
Now, I ask you, which would you prefer? $18 or $3? This completely unfair question ignores, of course, the fact that you would have had to stay invested in your stocks during terrorist attacks, mideast crises, hijackings, bombings, wars, pestilence and otherwise awful occurrences that would threaten to destroy every thing you own, forever, without regard for your work and savings ethics. And yet, this may be the only choice you have.