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Author: mwyattea Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76237  
Subject: Re: Baby Boomer Impact on Stock Market Returns Date: 5/29/2001 5:21 PM
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I've been exposed to a few different studies over the years (I'm an actuary) and I think that it is really hard to tell what exactly will happen as demography keeps changing. From an anecdotal standpoint, I graduated from high school in 1978 at the tail of the boom. The population of the high school went from over 2000 students to 1200 students in 4 years, and bottomed out at short of 1000 in the 1990's. So if you were making your predictions based on that info, there sure is a significant problem in the making. However, l moved from one town to another outside of Boston 2 years ago. At that time (1999), there were 110 kids in the graduating HS senior class, and 237 kids in the kindergarten class. So it appears that these populations are coming back up and will improve the prior population forecasts.

One thing to understand with long-range projections (I know, I make a few in my line of work), is the danger of assumptions and the tendency to make straight-line forecasts. Who knows exactly what will happen with stocks in the next 30 years when the boomers start going out? To tell you the truth, my (gut) bigger fear is not so much with liquid investments such as stocks, bonds, etc., but is with real estate. What happens when everyone starts downsizing their McMansions at the same time? (Another point to remember when making your real estate choices: you don't pay property taxes on your portfolio, nor do you need to redecorate your stocks when your significant other decides that the colors are out of fashion;).
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