Without stocks, your retirement portfolio may not grow as fast as prices rise. With inflation at 3%, the $100,000 you have available to spend today could be worth less than $48,000 25 years down the road. Anyone who’s ever invested in the stock market — or even thought about it — should know there’s risk involved. While you potentially can make a lot of money, you also potentially can lose a lot. Stocks are just inherently more volatile than other investments such as bonds or cash instruments.