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If you Rip Van Winkle'd right after starting the account and woke up 40 years later, you wouldn't care about the intermediate values, you'd only care about the final value.

That's an excellent point, Ray, and is the rationale behind certain retirement strategies that are inviolate, such as CalPERS [California Public Employees Retirement System], but that's sure no guarantee against loss.

California on the Brink: Pension Crisis About to Get Worse
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