The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which Motley Fool contributor and financial planner Dan Caplinger discusses topics from around the investment world.

Today, Dan looks at why stocks are a smart investment even in today's turbulent markets. Although some nervous investors have turned away from stocks toward keeping money in cash, bonds, or commodities, those alternatives carry risks of their own. More importantly, it's at times of maximum fear that stocks have tended to perform the best. Dan explains those risks in more detail and goes through stock market history to show how stocks have outperformed most alternatives over the long haul.

If you want some great ideas for building a smart stock portfolio, check out our special report: "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich." Inside, we reveal their names as well as some winning wealth-building strategies. Click here to keep reading.