Tuesday, September 11, 2012

S&P 500 Returns for 30-Year Periods Before and After Inflation

Over various 30-year periods, the U.S. Stock market has had a fairly broad range of average returns. Depending on when your 30-year career began, the market could have returned between less than 3% and nearly 10% per year on average.

Average market returns are mostly irrelevant when applied to your retirement plan. If you are born 25 years before a great bull market you have an opportunity to make money in the stock market. If your working career spans a long bear market, your investment returns will be paltry.

Like it or not, your lifetime market returns depend largely on the accident of your birth date.

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