March 20th, 2002


What is the Very Long Term Return of Equity?
William J. Bernstein

What's the bottom line here? Take another look at the above table. Even at a real rate of return of 3%, the result of a 2000 year investment of one dollar is billions of times greater than the world's current wealth. In other words, over the long term a real rate of return in excess of 1% is mathematically impossible. If you're planning for 5%-7% real returns over the next 30 years to fund your retirement, you may or may not wind up being very unpleasantly surprised.

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Crab got your tongue?

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