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Author: Lokicious Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 35396  
Subject: Re: Real Returns Date: 11/6/2006 5:01 PM
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That you choose not to pursue returns that exceed 5% real is no reason that you should attempt to dissuade others from pursuing such a goal.

Charlie,

I am absolutely intending on dissauding others from pursuing returns of over 5%. It is not because I personally choose not to—you want to make everything about personalities. This is about numbers.

I am happy to be a wet blanket. I think Voltaire was way too generous toward "optimism." If considering contingencies and weighing pros and cons prevents morons and bullies from being "decisive" and getting lots of others killed (never, of course, the morons and bulies), that would be a good thing.

There are only three reasons I can think of for seeking "real returns" of over 5%.

1) Those who can save so little, because they make so little, they could only reach a moderately livable retirement with such numbers. Sadly, these people are doomed to work for low pay until they drop or to live out their days eating dog food and skipping medicines, and they will never have the resources to try for big returns, anyway.

2) People who would rather take on added risk to make big money, instead of saving as much as they could for as long as necessary.

3) People like you who like the chase, and would rather take on risk to prove something to themselves than treat financial planning as a means to an end of accumulating what is necessary for financial security.

The finance industry makes it money by playing off greed (group 2), ego (group 3), and ignorance. If you want to appeal to groups 2 and 3, with your own alternatives, that's fine with me. I'm concerned with dispelling ignorance. Most of the information out there for people who simply want to put away enough money for financial security after retirement fails to start from a good way of estimating how much you need to save in relation to returns and expenses (a lot of retirement planner do at least try, but I'm yet to see one that works well). I'm concerned with people who could save more, but don't because they don't realize they could lower risks by saving more and still reach their goals. And I am concerned with people who are saving enough or more than enough but are still taking on added risk because they haven't figured out they don't need to.

People who take on more risk than necessary for realistic financial goals because it's more fun, I leave to you.
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