The only thing certain about the stock market is that it fluctuates. While it generally moves up, it sometimes goes down. Over a long period of time, however, its central tendency is rewardingly upward.
And with only several trading days remaining, 2014 has proved to be another strong year, following on the heels of a gangbuster performance in 2013.
What will happen to prices in 2015, of course, nobody knows. That said, the odds are that stocks will climb higher again next year, based solely on their historical performance. But there are several other positive factors pointing toward higher prices in 2015 as well, such as the improving U.S. economy, higher employment levels, low energy prices, low inflation and continuing low interest rates.
The stock market's very merry 200-year history tells the story:
"The stock market’s merry performance over time
In recent years, stocks have been solid performers each year since 2009, as the above chart shows.
And in most of the past 200 years, but by no means all, the market has done well for individual investors.
So if you're not inclined to panic and sell when the market declines, which it inevitably will from time to time, it's always a good time for long term individual investors to be invested in stocks.
And with respect to the rest of 2014 and 2015 specifically, things still look good to me.