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Author: peteyperson Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 5068  
Subject: Re: FIRE Benchmarks Date: 9/23/2003 2:07 PM
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Brewer,

I expect that several people will be reading the thread, not just you. The recommendation was for anyone interested in forming their own wider view on the subject.

The timeline of some of the posters on the nofeeboards goes back a long way. I was simply giving a recent 3 year example. The logic of the answer I gave still stands, if you put everything into the US market then you're subject to the US market and are not well diversified even if you have some assets in bonds and some in stocks. Diversifying away into international and other asset classes in general will allow you to weather bad investment results in some markets. Overvaluation on the US market lowers future returns. The SWR studies are based on safe withdrawal rates for past much higher historical returns, therefore they are inaccurate going forward because US results will be materially lower. Diversification away from overvalued markets will allow for increased returns, less risk, less volatility and high withdrawals but you have to know to do that. Most here don't.

I'm broadening out the discussion on the board to wider themes and avoiding one set view of a 4% world that has been put out there and far too many have swallowed. Sorry if you dislike that. intercst did not allow alternative views on his board, I'm adding some here for Fools to consider who wants to view all sides of the issue. I'm sure many have joined the board because they have an interest in such.

Regards,
Petey

Spare me the patronizing, petey. After all, I didn't suggest that you read anything, did I?

As I said before, there is no "myth" of a 4% safe withdrawal rate. That number is just what came up based on very thorough tests of the historical data using a particular methodology. If investors and would-be FIREees can't understand what the number means, it is hardly intercst's fault, now is it?

FWIW, I would actually agree with you that one should probably be more diversified than US stocks and US bonds. However, the safe withdrawal studies were not done with other asset classes, so when I am ready to cash in my chips, I will be either looking for a relevant published study or doing my own multi asset class safe withdrawal study.

BTW, it is very nice that some folks weathered the storm. Good for them! However, you cannot expect me to believe that their experiences are more than anecdotal. Furthermore, we are talking about a time period of about three years. I sure hope my retirement is longer than that! I did very well myself over the past three years, but I have no idea if I was lucky or if I actually am a better asset manager than most fund managers. I will have to wait 10 or 20 years to have a better idea.
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