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One can't pick your market conditions/history. You were born when you were born. Just go with the 1960-2013 period and be done with it.

I mostly agree with this. But one does need to consider the possibility that the actual history that one lived through may just have been extraordinarily lucky, and that someone born 10 year sooner or 10 years later would have vastly different results.
Like the George Michael song goes, "Turn a different corner and we never would have met."

That's why academic studies & papers like to run Monte-Carlo simulations.

I recall reading (perhaps in the Market Wizards book) about a guy who opened a large option position the day before Black Monday. And made several million dollars in 2 days. That's something you would exclude from a backtest even if it happened to you.

What difference does withdrawal make? You either have enough money when you're ready to retire or you don't.
Well, presumably you'll be using that "enough money" as income during retirement.
Regardless, some people like to know how the strategies compare during the deccumulation phase -- even if you personally don't care. Dave certainly seems to care a lot about it.

This is just a plain ol' horse race. Start at the starting gate, plot two investment strategies side-by-side for 30 years and see who ends up with more money at the end.

$1,116,000 is more than $373,000.

It's more than $859,000, too. Which it turn is more than $373,000.

'course, different people have different tastes and different outlooks on volatility and drawdowns, but having $485,000 more money -- more than twice as much money -- well, that's something to think about.
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