The truth is that money's worth is based largely on a collective belief in it. The reason the American dollar is valued over, say, the Argentinean peso is that it's a basically-held belief that the dollar is more stable and when you transfer your time and labor into dollars they will hold or increase their value over time, whereas with the Argentinean peso it just ain't so. It's a belief, a pretty strong one, but a belief never the less.Today, I bought gas and it was worth $2.78 per 9/10 of a gallon (why 9/10, we do not know) and a few weeks before it was closer to $4 per 9/10 of a gallon. And if a giant asteroid hit the earth tomorrow disrupting life as we know it, the bag of rice in my pantry would be worth a lot more than that. It isn't real stuff, this money, it's hypothetical. You can't eat it. As many pre-World War II Germans found out, you can burn the stuff, but it's not nearly as effective at that as a large limb that has fallen off of a tree.In the end, this time really is more tangible than dollars or pesos or loonies, in that you get it back, regardless of the current economy. If I help out my neighbors and build up the community around me, it will be there for me to turn to when I'm in need. If I take care of my kids when they are kids and show them what it means to care for someone else, won't they do that for me when I'm older and could use some help? So our alternative investments and alternative stock market do reap dividends - just ones that you can't put a price on.