Many investors use the S&P 500 as a means to invest their retirement funds. There are financial services products that can be used for retirement, that utilize the S&P 500 as a means to grow retirement funds.
The new growing trend: People utilize Fixed Life insurance contracts to accumulate wealth. These contracts allow one to have their cash value receive "credits" based on the performance of the S&P 500. Another point: If the S&P 500 loses money, the insurance company still guarantees no loss of the principle.(cash value).
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Here is a graph of the performance of the S&P 500: