THUMBS DOWN: Get Real

September 16, 2008
Physician's Money Digest, March31 2003, Volume 10, Issue 6

Back in the 1990s, stock marketinvestors got so used to double-digit returns on their portfolios,they figured those returnswere the norm. Think again. Theaverage annual return on stocksover the past century is 10%, butexperts like John Bogle, founderof the Vanguard Group, say thatwe have yet to really pay for theexcesses of the tech bubble.Regression to the mean, one ofBogle's favorite market theories,says that stock market returnswill be lower than average overthe next several years to makeup for the outsized yields of thebull market. A more realistic estimateof future long-term annualaverage returns, therefore, is inthe 7% to 8% range.