Lessons from a lost decade

I’ve lost a bet.  I’ve lost my keys.  But I’ve never lost a decade – until now.” – Sam Stovall, S&P’s chief strategist

Peptol Bismo2l

The S&P 500 ended the past decade down almost 25 percent below where it was ten years earlier.  And that doesn’t even factor in the 29% inflation we experienced during the decade.

Peptol Bismo2l
since the end of 1999, the S&P 500 stock index has lost an average of 3.3% a year, on an inflation-adjusted basis, even after including dividends, according to the data compiled by Charles Jones, finance professor at North Carolina State University.1

Hmmm… so what does that mean to the typical family in dollars and cents?

You may want to grab a bottle of Pepto-Bismol, because it isn’t very pretty…
Here’s what inflation and negative returns have done to a nest egg invested in an S&P 500 index fund (the way most Americans’ retirement savings are), over the past decade…

purchasing power of your money
purchasing power of your money

You now need a 39.9% increase just to get back to where you were ten years ago!

Given that the stock market has just experienced its fastest climb since 1933, how likely do you think it is that we’ll have another 39.9% rise this year? Especially given soaring government spending, stubbornly high unemployment, and looming tax hikes.

45 percent of Americans say they hate their jobs, according to a just-released survey

Even if we do see that kind of increase, it would only take you back to dollars worth what they were ten years ago, so you’d need another 29% increase just to break even!

45 percent of Americans say they hate their jobs, according to a just-released survey

And here’s something else that really sucks:  45 percent of Americans say they hate their jobs, according to a just-released survey.

Can you imagine what it would feel like if you’ve been sweating away at a job you can’t stand so you could put money away for your financial future… only to see your hard-earned dollars vanish?!?

Investors would have been better off investing in pretty much anything else (during the past decade) or even just stuffing money under a mattress.” 1

Meanwhile, what lessons have we learned from a lost decade?

Mattress Money

Wall Street and the financial “gurus” are still pitching the same saving and investing strategies that got us where we are.

The number one best-selling book on personal finance recently was about how to get back to even – from the same guy whose advice put you in the hole in the first place.

Mattress Money

This may surprise you…

For hundreds of thousands of families who use the Bank On Yourself method, their nest-eggs remained intact – and have continued growing.  Safely, consistently, and predictably.

Oh what a difference it makes when both your principal and gains are locked in… and you’re getting compounded growth on a bigger number every single year!

But don’t take my word for it.  Here’s an example of how one of my own Bank On Yourself policies grew over the past decade.  It’s a real eye-opener, so I urge you to check it out.

There are a few cracks appearing in the investment industry’s armor recently, though.  Last week, an article in Investment News noted:

Sales of immediate annuities and whole-life insurance will increase this year as boomers nearing retirement seek reliable income streams that aren’t subject to the whims of the market.”

The article also described whole-life insurance as a “fixed-income alternative… that can fare well despite a low interest-rate environment.”2

And keep in mind they’re talking about a traditional whole life policy – the kind Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey and most other financial experts talk about.  But a Bank On Yourself-type dividend-paying whole life policy has features that super-charge the growth of your cash value, so you’re going to have a lot more cash available to use any way you want – especially in the early years of the policy.

Holding back hands of time

If you knew there were a way to grow your nest-egg safely and predictably, while getting all the other advantages we just talked about – and then some – and that your plan would only get better and better every single year, when would be the best time to get started?

If you answered something along the lines of “yesterday,” I have good news for you.  There’s actually a way to “turn back the clock” for up to six months, when you start a Bank On Yourself policy, so you can help make up for some of that lost time.

Holding back hands of time

The best way to get started is to request your free Bank On Yourself Analysis.  You’ll get a referral to a knowledgeable Bank On Yourself Professional, who can help you turn back the clock.

And if you’ve already started to Bank On Yourself,  congratulations!  Please take this as a reminder of the many benefits you’re getting.  And please pass the word on to others you care about.

We want to hear from you!  What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from the lost decade?  Share your comments below…

1. “Investors Hope the ’10s Beat the ’00s,” Tom Lauricella, Wall Street Journal, 12/20/09
2. “Immediate annuities and whole life are likely to gain favor,” Darla Mercado, Investment News, 1/10/10


  1. 50’s are the new 40’s Eric, theres an old saying I read in a book that said the best time to plant a fruit tree is yesterday….the next best time is today.

    Keep your head up.

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