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Lesko: $40 into $10 Million? Answer May Not Be What it Seems

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Jason: Turn 40 dollars into 10 million--is that possible? Greg Lesko of Lesko Financial is here to answer. Greg.

Greg: Thanks Jason.

The way some financial reporters write, you'd think getting rich takes only a little time and even less effort.

Warren Buffet once said that if someone had bought Coca Cola stock at 40 dollars when the company went public in 1919, they'd have more than five million dollars.

Coke itself more recently noted those forty bucks would have grown to over 10 million dollars today. Financial pundits would have you believe that you, too, could easily turn 40 dollars into 10 million. But those come-ons could lead you to invest for the wrong reasons.

Jason: What's wrong with their logic?

Greg: The Coca Cola story is really an exception. Other stocks that went public the same year didn't do that well--some don't even exist any more.
Who could have predicted that the company would be around nearly a hundred years later? It's growth has gone on for more than the average human life span.

Even if you could identify an equivalent company today, who could wait out a 90-year investment horizon to reap those rewards? Trying to find the next Coke is more like gambling than investing

Jason: What's the take-away for investors?

Greg: You don't have to find the next Coca Cola or be Warren Buffet to be a successful investor. Just about anyone can invest wisely in a good mix of stocks with some firm financial goals and a long-term view and grow their wealth in their lifetime.

But chasing high returns or looking for the next Coca Cola-- that's not the way.