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      Dow Jones reaches all time high for third straight day

      The blue chips continued a record setting performance, closing at an all-time high for a third straight day.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Wall Street saw another bullish day with all three major indexes closing in the green. The blue chips continued a record setting performance, closing at an all-time high for a third straight day.

      The Dow finished 33 points higher at 14,329.

      But a strong stock market doesn't always ensure the economy will be strong. The last peak in the Dow was in 2007, right before the onset of the recession.

      Still, as double digit increases in stock markets last year continue into this year, financial experts say companies are more in a position to see the recovery continue.

      "There actually are much better fundamentals right now," said Nick Wodogaza, president of Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union. "Companies are stronger than they were back in 2008, 2009. They've been able to get their financial houses in order."

      Part of the improvement in the stock market is due to optimism when it comes to job growth. Some economists are predicting even more growth in the jobs report due out tomorrow.

      Wodogaza says 53 percent of households have equities or stock ownership, often through their 401(k) or pension programs, meaning most people are seeing personal benefits from a rising Dow.

      "For so many consumers, if you actually start to see your 401(k) rising or other investments that you may have...you start to feel a little bit more excited that you're now a little bit wealthier," said Wodogaza. "So it does make it nice that more and more consumers feel that they have seen their wealth rise."

      Before you decide to jump in and invest your own money in the stock market, Wodogaza recommends that everyone, if possible, be in a position of living below their means. In other words, have an emergency savings fund first before you venture out with your money into investments.

      When you do decide to enter the stock market, put your money into long term investments -- over a five year period or more -- for a more reliable return on your money.