If you’re like most people, you believe there’s a great deal of truth in the old adage that 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 int the future by knowing something about the past. The fact is, the stock market has been repeating itself consistently enough throughout its history to allow us to see in it predictable and 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 percent return over the very long run. The way that actually breaks down is that 2 to 3 percent of this return comes from stock dividends, and 6 to 7 percent comes from capital appreciation; in other words a 6 to 7 percent average growth rate over the very long run….
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