To me this is interesting. To people like my parents, whose retirement depends significantly on their investments during their maximum earning years (ie, now), “interesting” might not be the word they’d pick. Here’s a graph I pulled off of Vanguard, representing a $10,000 investment exactly 10 years ago, for three different asset types:
The top line represents an intermediate-term investment grade bond fund. Traditionally it’s a low-risk category of investment, with some ups and downs but mostly a relatively stable source of modest distribution growth. The middle line is a money market fund – effectively a savings account. No risk, low interest. Keeps up with inflation but not too much more. The bottom curve is the S&P 500., roughly reflecting the stock market as a whole. Guess which one best represents your average boomer retirement investment?
An entire decade is a total wash. Worse, even. It’s down probably 20 percent from 1999 when we were pushing 28.8 kbps through our phone lines.
It’s not entirely the fault of the recent housing/oil bubble imploding; the dotcom collapse in 2000 and 9/11 a year later wrecked the early end of our 10-year period pretty well.
I have no point here, really. It’s my profession to pay attention to numerical data, so I can’t help but pay attention to this stuff. But geez, when that the last 12 years of stock market growth have been wiped out completely you wish you were paying attention to something nicer.