Here are some statistics to show that if you buy shares in a good company and hold them long term, the returns can be massive. Take Commonwealth Bank. When the government privatised it in 1991 investors paid an average of just under $6.75 for each share they bought, and they are now worth more than $75 each. Leaving aside for a moment the nice dividends they have been paying twice yearly since then, original investors are now up more than 1000 per cent on what they subscribed. That’s one of the best known examples of a good long term investment (it would have beaten all but the canniest real estate coups) but it’s by no means a freak...