Here's Who Should Invest in Real Estate

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As if we didn't have enough to worry about with our finances — debt, stagnant wages, saving for retirement — most of us are missing out on another significant part of adulting: building wealth. Historically, this came from the ability to own property, but in addition to all of the above, there's a shortage of affordable homes for first-time buyers.

All that might persuade you that renting is the way to go for the foreseeable future. But one analyst says that buying property is still one of the surest ways to protect your net worth going forward. Mark Hulbert, writing for MarketWatch, has his eye on the next big economic downturn, which could come as early as 2020. He also acknowledges the outsized role the housing market played in the 2008 crash. But he also urges readers to consider real estate for one reassuringly boring reason: risk.

"The stock and bond markets are currently so overvalued that it's not only possible, but downright plausible, that real estate will do better than either of these asset classes over the next decade," Hulbert writes. "Furthermore, you should know that [home price indices have] been less volatile than the stock market — a lot less."

It is true that millennials who have already bought homes urge others to be careful about making such a move. But despite all we're up against, we're also not letting things stop us. Renting has an awful lot of benefits, but building wealth — however you choose to do so — may pay off for a lot longer.