chapter  1
8 Pages

—INFLATION AND STOCK PRICES

Americans today have more money at risk in the stock market, in both absolute and relative terms, than ever before. What truly sets this market apart from all other bull markets is the unprecedented level of participation by middle class Americans. The prior great bull markets of this century (the 1920s, 1950s and the 1960s) did attract money from smaller investors via mutual fixnds, but due to the explosive growth of 40IK retirement plans, middle class Americans have exposed themselves to the benefits, and the risks, of the market as never before. Additionally, the advent of trading over the Internet has for the first time brought Wall Street into the home of the average American. Online trading is growing at a phenomenal pace, attracting hordes of new investors and speculators.