Stock Return Outlook: Not-So-Great Expectations

    by Steve Norwitz

    In the unprecedented stock market boom of the late 1990s, equity investors became accustomed to double-digit annual returns as the Standard & Poor’s 500 index reeled off five straight years of gains exceeding 20%.

    That bubble burst, however, and the S&P 500 produced a –4.7% annualized return from the end of 1999 through July 2004 despite the vigorous rebound in 2003.

    So, what should investors realistically expect for equity returns over the next five to 10 years?

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