Hard Lessons of the Stock Market
If you’re like most people, you believe there’s a great deal of truth in the adage, “history tends to repeat itself more often than not.” That’s an important adage to keep in mind when it comes to saving and investing for retirement because it allows you to get a glimpse into the future by knowing something about the past. The fact is, the stock market has been repeating itself consistently enough throughout history to allow us to see some repeatable long-term patterns, or market “biorhythms,” which are important to recognize and understand when it comes to building a smart, defensive investment strategy.
First, you need to understand something about what particular “version of the truth” Wall Street and most brokers like to tell when talking about the stock market. Most people have probably been told that the market averages about a 9% return over the very long run. The way that breaks down is that 2-to-3% of this return comes from stock dividends, and 6-to-7% comes from capital appreciation — in other words, a 6-to-7% average growth rate over the very long run.