Like many people, she is reluctant to take the plunge.
Although I have been investing in shares for several years, my wife has never bought equities, preferring to keep her money tucked away in a building society savings account.
Better safe than sorry
She knows all too well that she will only receive one or two percent interest a year, but at least her money is safe.
As I have become more involved with the stock market, I have encouraged my wife to take the plunge as well. Particularly during 2009 and 2010, as my shares went up and up in value, I put the case to her to buy equities. Come on in, I told her, the water's lovely!
So earlier this year -- following plenty of persuasion -- she opened a share-dealing account. Her next step was then to put in some money and start trading. Easy!
But to this day, she has left her trading account empty, refusing to invest any of her hard-earned pennies in stocks and shares.
People are deserting shares in droves
Looking at the investing world today, it isn't hard to see why. My wife asks me how I have done this year, and I tell her I have lost money. She asks her sister -- who lives in Seattle and invests in American stocks -- the same question, and she has also made a loss.
In fact, if you were to ask most investors how they have done this year, I suspect they would say they have lost money. Many would have seen as much as 10% or 20% of their portfolios go up in smoke. Why, my wife argues, should you play what seems to be a losing game?
My partner's views are really a microcosm of what much of the general public thinks. People have seen the poor performance of shares and are scared of sustaining losses. Indeed, recently there have been substantial outflows of money from UK equity funds.
According to sales figures from the Investment Management Association, investment for July 2011 was the worst for the past three years.
Net retail sales were just £936 million, compared to £2.4 billion for the same month during 2010, and investors pulled £29 million out of ISAs compared to inflows of £265 million last year.
I don't yet have the figures for August, but with the carnage that took place in the markets during that time, I would expect them to be even worse.
As investors bale out, stock markets have tumbled, not just here in Britain but also in America and Europe. And emerging economies and frontier markets have not been safe havens, and have also taken a battering.
In short, it has been a torrid time to be an investor in equities, and many once more are throwing in the towel.
Margin of safety
And yet, more seasoned market players know these times of pessimism are the times to buy in, not sell out. If shares were consumer products in a shop, I would be going around bagging those bargains.
But course, no one knows what will happen in the future. In these nervy times, when crisis seems to follow crisis, there is the fear that things may get worse before they get better. It's rather like going shopping in the sales. Do you go for the 30% reduction now and risk missing out on next week's buy-one-get-one-free offer? Well, at least you didn't buy at full price.
What we can say now is that shares are looking very cheap. There may be fears of a eurozone meltdown and an economic slump, but company earnings at the moment are holding up remarkably well.
As long you are buying shares in companies with good prospects at low valuations, then you are leaving yourself a wide margin of safety. Even if there are short-term prices falls from here, when the rally does, eventually, come, you should be well positioned.
Let's see who does better
But the question is: how do you persuade people such as my wife to invest? That has always been the difficulty. People have a natural tendency to buy high and sell low, to run away from cut-price shares and chase ever higher overvalued shares. It's as natural to them as water flowing downhill.
That's why we have crashes and bubbles, and why there are so few people are able to beat the market on a regular basis.
Let's see now, maybe I'll try to persuade my wife one more time...
More from Prabhat Sakya: