I'm looking to research the arguments against investing, or at least arguments that present a rather different view of investing than is the conventional wisdom. By "investing", I mean putting money at risk of significant or even total loss--other than inflationary loss--by buying non-guaranteed assets. I'm particularly thinking in terms of stocks, but to some degree in bonds, metals, land, etc.
The conventional wisdom seems to be something (very roughly!) like this:
- Investing is motivated by making one's money work for one's future self.
- Owning stocks and bonds is, generally, the best way to do this.
- This is because, historically, the stock market and bonds have returned x% ROI, where x > other vehicles' ROI. x seems to be quoted as something between 4-10%.
- Each person's "needs" and "situation" are different, and so there are different rules for how to do this for each person. E.g. older people should be less risky.
- An IRA invested in various mutual funds is a particularly good and convenient way to invest for most people.
- There are ways to invest that modify one's risk or chance of gain, such as diversifying, Modern Portfolio Theory, dollar cost averaging, etc, and by adopting these strategies one can be confident that one is likely to do better than one who does not adopt them.
What I'm looking for are substantiated/evidence-based, well-reasoned counterpoints to this conventional wisdom.
Note: I am not asking the SE.PF&M readers to give their opinions about this--that would not a good question here. Instead, I am asking to point me to quality sources for these sorts of arguments.
For example, the historical evidence of past market performance could be questioned in a scholarly article that looks at other historical trends that, though they lasted 200+ years, ultimately came to an end. Or it could have a technological spin, suggesting that as markets "heat up" in terms of transactions-per-second, instabilities begin to form that didn't apply in, say, 1985. Or, it could be a legal analysis, showing how deregulation of yadda yadda has now caused blah blah blah. Or, an economic analysis. Or a sociological, discussing U.S. population trends. Or even something arcane, like game theory or chaos theory.
EDIT: Might the idea of the Taleb Distribution, inspired by ideas from Nassim Taleb in his book Fooled By Randomness be one specific example I could include along these lines?
EDIT: I'm asking this because I think it is both intellectually interesting as well as practically important, and because I tend to feel that pro-investing rhetoric seems to operate in an echo chamber in which disconfirming evidence is filtered out. Of course, I may be wrong about this and therefore if everyone on this site responds that there are no such (credible) arguments--beyond those inspired by Taleb's writings, if that is such as I think--then that is an answer in itself.
FINAL EDIT: I think this question answering process just went off the rails, despite my trying to constrain it. Simply put, I wanted to know substantiated and published reasons why one would probably be better off, long-term finances-wise, saving money in CDs than investing in a stock portfolio. People triggered on the point about risk too much; sure, all life is risk, I get that, but perhaps my wording just led things down that path. I'm happy with forgetting about this question, since it seems SE.PF&M has a strong pro-stock market investing bias and so far has no representatives against this conventional wisdom.