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If you want to reverse engineer reasoning to support an expectation of higher returns, you need a sustained and much higher rate of real GDP growth than ever seen, and/or ever rising net margins beyond their current 70 year highs.
Those aren't likely, so real total returns for the broad US market over 4-5% aren't likely.
I think anything over real 3%/year would be a wonderful result for the next 5-10 years.

Wait a minute...I thought that as long as central banks keep lowering interest rates, that we can count on the same kind of returns as we've seen since 2009, forever and ever.
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