No. of Recommendations: 0
<<The reason I mention this way of looking at investing is that I just pulled the return numbers for a bond fund that is frequently mentioned and recommended in this forum, Vanguard’s Total Bond Market Fund, VBMFX. The 5-year, annual return (though last Friday) was an appallingly low 0.40%. I had no idea things were that bad for the typical fixed-income investor.>>>

According to Vanguard's site this fund has had a 4.08% average annual return over the past 5 years. Where are you getting your data from?
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