The coronavirus pandemic trashed the stock market a year ago. The introduction of at least three safe and effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccines triggered an exuberant rebound, driving the major benchmarks to new highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average(DJINDICES:^DJI) has now gained 14% since the start of 2020, while the S&P 500(SNPINDEX:^GSPC) posted a 21% return.

Every adult American should now be eligible for the coronavirus vaccines by early May, but the path back to a complete economic recovery remains unclear. Many investors hesitate to put money into this surging market, because another sharp correction might be in the cards. At the same time, the fundamental power of putting your money to work hasn't changed. Buying quality stocks to hold over several years or decades is still the most reliable way to generate wealth over the long haul, and there are still stocks worth buying even while the markets are reaching new all-time highs.

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