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How the markets can magnify your money—or melt it away

Take a trip through recent financial history to see if you've got what it takes to beat the market.

by Vice Money
Dec 29 2017, 3:26pm

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Financial markets seem like a constantly churning, high-risk world of inscrutable ticker symbols and unthinkable sums of money. It’s true that markets do periodically crash. But over the long-enough time frame, financial markets tend to act as a growth machine for your money. And investing can allow you to turn relatively modest amounts of savings into significant stacks of cash. Don’t believe us? Play with our version of the growth machine to see how different investment strategies could have harnessed its power over the last three decades.

How this game works:

Basically the Growth Machine allows you relive the last 30 years in the financial markets and see how different assets performed, using data provided by FactSet. You have four mixes of assets to choose from. They range from “Low Risk”—a mix of slow-and-steady investments such as cash and bonds—to “High Risk” which tilts heavily toward volatile assets like stocks and commodities. At key moments, the growth machine pauses and asks you whether you’d like to alter your mix of investments, which you can do by playing with the sliders. As a baseline, we plot your results against those of the S&P 500, a broad gauge of stock market performance. If you can beat the S&P, you're in great shape. Good luck.

Interactive by Ron Rosenman

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