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Stocks Double in 3 Years, But Many Stay on Sidelines
CNBC.com | March 06, 2012 | 10:24 AM EST

Stock prices have doubled over the past three years, but that still hasn't convinced many Americans to invest in the market.

This week marks the third anniversary of the market's low during the financial crisis. The S&P 500 index , the market's broadest measure, hit an intraday low of 666.79 on March 6, 2009. Since then, the index has soared over 100 percent, meaning a $500,000 portfolio invested in an S&P 500 index fund would now be worth $1 million.

The rise up has been anything but smooth, however. Stocks, in fact, fell sharply on Tuesday amid continued worries about the Greek debt crisis, the global economy and tensions in the Middle East .

For that reason, many investors have stayed out of the market over the past three years—and some may never return, no matter how far stocks rally.

“On the main street level, people are still worried about jobs and the economy,” says Doreen Mogavero, president and CEO of Mogavero Lee & Co.

Mogavero says this is a much different market than it was before the financial crisis, with low volume and more volatility. But the fundamentals are still strong.

“Today, you’re looking at companies that are lean, have tons of cash on their balance sheets and are much better equipped to weather another down cycle if we were to have one,” she says.

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