The global equity markets provide the closest thing we have to a free lunch. With little effort, they provide individuals with the means of growing their money over time and above the rate of inflation, thereby providing a savings method that not only preserves purchasing power but increases it.
However, your mom was right when she said there is no such thing as a free lunch. The cost of achieving the markets’ potential is suffering through its volatility. All publicly traded investments likely will gyrate around the eventual trend of progress they can produce. Some of those gyrations will be large