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Author: TMFGalagan Big gold star, 5000 posts CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 35400  
Subject: Re: Real Returns Date: 11/6/2006 8:42 PM
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Use faith-based numbers if you wish, but don't try to pretend they have any sort of objective reality.

Charlie,

Far be it for me to get involved in a personal flame war between you and Loki, but I thought your criticism of "faith-based numbers" was funny in light of your previous comment:

The upside is as high as an investor wants it to be IF, IF, IF he or she has the imagination to envision such a goal and then the courage and dedication to pursue it. I don't self-censure self-achievement. What is possible is what each person thinks is possible.

This is individualist dogma run wild. It's a nice pipedream to think that no matter who you are or what circumstances you're in, you can achieve whatever you want. And sure, there will always be a few people you can point to as success stories. But not everyone can achieve what they want, even if they imagine the goal and pursue it with all their heart. It's just that the much more numerous failures don't get publicized very often - they don't make good fodder for TV movies of the week.

Given a choice between trying to psych myself into your proposed 21% returns on focused stock portfolios, 13% on diversified stocks, or 8% on bonds versus using Loki's perhaps overly pessimistic assumptions, I'll go with Loki every time. Preparing for the worst means I'll always be happily surprised. Counting on the best will leave me unprepared for reality most of the time.

dan
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