"The Best Place To Put Money? Your Mattress" is the irresponsible headline the New York Times ran over the weekend above a front-page news article about how "For the first time in decades, every major type of investment has fared poorly."
The Times article went on:
In a typical year there's going to be some winners and losers," said Ed Clissold, chief United States strategist at the equity market research firm Ned Davis Research. "It's very rare that you get nothing working."
His firm recently looked at eight types of investments going back to 1972. In every year, at least one of these categories generated a return of 5 percent or more. A separate study by JPMorgan Chase analysts found that "2018 has delivered losses on almost every asset class and investing style."
The Times doesn't mention it, but as of Friday's close, the Fidelity Select Health Care Portfolio, a mutual fund that invests in health care stocks, was up 11.77% year-to-date, and Vanguard's Health Care Fund, another mutual fund that invests in health care stocks, and that I should here disclose I have some shares of, was up 5.2% year to date. Amazon stock was up about 36% on the year as of Friday's close. Not quite "nothing working." Putting money in "your mattress" exposes it to the risk that it would be lost by theft or fire, that its value will be eroded by inflation, and that you will miss out on future stock market gains. And the year isn't over yet.