I apologize to all those people over the past three years to whom I talked and tried to the best of my ability to get into the stock market. I wish I was more persuasive. We sat together at the table (or Skyped) and looked at the huge amount you had in Certificates of Deposit at .75% or in money markets at 0.1% and I pleaded for you to open an account at Schwab (or the discount broker of your choice) and choose a low fee S&P 500 Index Fund for 60% of the assets.
I argued that the U.S. economy is the most innovative in the world, that products will be forthcoming that neither of us could foresee that would be in demand. We couldn't foresee Fitbits, or driverless trucks, or drones delivering packages. We couldn't foresee virtual reality. But all of it came and is coming big time.
You worried over government shutdowns, a slowing economy, the European Union breaking up and more recently Brexit and Trump. In your thinking you kept going back to the downturn in 2008 despite the fact that you had many years to recover if the market experienced a meltdown in the short run. To no avail I tried to emphasize that such a meltdown is a gift to the long term investor who is accumulating a nest egg for retirement.
The saving grace for me are the many who did invest for the first time and who gained the confidence and knowledge that put them on the path they need to be on. They held to a well defined asset allocation and have seen their assets appreciate significantly to return well above the rate of inflation. They learned to manage their own assets and avoid the egregious fees charged by the industry.
They are excellent examples of how straight forward it is to become do-it-yourself investors and participate fully in the free market capitalistic system.
If you are seeking investment help, look at the video here on my services. If you are seeking a different approach to managing your assets, you have landed at the right spot. I am a fee-only advisor registered in the State of Maryland, charge less than half the going rate for investment management, and seek to teach individuals how to manage their own assets using low-cost indexed exchange traded funds. Please call or email me if interested in further details. My website is at http://www.rwinvestmentstrategies.com. If you are new to investing, take a look at the "DIY Investor Newbie" posts here by typing "newbie" in the search box above to the left. These take you through the basics of what you need to know in getting started on doing your own investing.