I can dumb it down to three simple words: number go up.
"Number go up" is a stupid meme within the bitcoin community (NgU Technology), but it hasn't been wrong yet.
See how it kinda peaks every 4 years? This is due to the pre-programmed adjustment in monetary policy, when the amount of bitcoin mined in each new block is halved.
Looking at a chart (it's kinda old, from last Feb) that shows the actual halvings, you can see what the price does within each epoch (4 year halving period). Number go up.
This doesn't mean something can't happen that would cause a shock to the price, but the monetary policy is set in stone (code) and will not change. But, for all intents and purposes, the price is essentially programmed to go up forever as each new cycle brings new eyes to it, while the available new supply is slashed in half. Increase in demand + decrease in supply = number go up.
People often ask, "what's stopping them from changing the monetary policy? What if they just doubled the number to 42million?" To that I say, I'm stopping them. I run a full node in my house (it means I'm verifying every block mined is valid) and would not run bitcoin software that changed anything about the monetary policy. That would lead to a fork of bitcoin, similar to how it forked into Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, etc. It would eventually be left in the dustbin of society while 21m bitcoin rolls on.
So, to your question. If you bought $500 today (we're at the early stages of an epic bull run, IMO) I think in a year the usd denominated price would very likely be higher, but I do expect a "crash" from whatever the peak is in this cycle (we haven't hit that peak yet, it'll be 6-figures). In 5 years the usd denominated price would almost certainly be higher. While it's not a guarantee, I wouldn't bet against it being higher.
My recommendation is always to DCA (see previous posts) a small amount each day/week, and always only with money you're okay losing. A $500-1000 instant buy to start out is also a great way to get exposure. I only ask that you put in the time to do a deeper dive into why it matters once you do have skin in the game. I think the book Boogie mentioned earlier, The Bitcoin Standard, is a great place to start.