If you had invested $100,000 in the stock market in the 1st quarter of 2000 (10 years ago), what would your investment be valued at today? Of course the answer would depend on what the specific stock or stocks you bought, but consider this:
The Dow went from 10,921 on January 3, 2000 to 10,583 as of Jan 3, 2010 — and at this writing it’s hovering around 10,186. So, $100,000 invested in a DJIA-like stock portfolio ten years ago would now be worth less than $100,000. See the DJIA information for reference.
By comparison, the average house purchased for $100,000 in the Cincinnati-Middletown-OH-KY-IN MSA during the 1st Quarter 2000 would have been worth $122,438 in the 1st Quarter of this year. Click here for FHA data. Of course, all real estate is local and just as stock appreciation depends on the particular stock, real estate appreciation depends on the particular property.
So, which was a better investment? You be the judge. Besides, everybody has to live somewhere!