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Over time, stocks as measured by the S&P 500 tend to do better than 6% average return. 10-12% has been the norm. But you can expect a bad year from time to time.

You will probably do OK to accumulate a surplus in good years and then tap into it when needed in bad years. That implies the value of trust continues to rise over time year after year after payouts.

Stocks bought years ago can be good investments when the companies continue to be industry leaders. But you may want to watch out for companies whose main market has matured. Their future growth may be limited. They may even be in decline. (Think Polaroid and Eastman Kodak. Consider Dell and Hewlett-Packard.)

To keep your portfolio performing you need to make adjustments from time to time. Business is not static. Active management is required.
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