How long is longterm though ?
The FTSE 100 index is today at around the same level it was in 1998. 13 years seems like a pretty long time to me.
Taking inflation into account investing in shares over that time period wouldn't have been the wisest move.
Despite the economic climate my wife has been spending money like it has been going out of fashion. After reading this thread I am now encouraging her to continue, I can't see the point in saving or investing :)