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Mr. SpecBear,

 I agree with the poor forecast for the US market. I also started at 2001, only to came back at 2006, but with far worst intelligence as you, judging by numbers.

   Nevertheless I want to share with you my thougts on the global economy. I just wrote about VWO (Vanguard's Emerging Marktes ETF).

   Basically, as Alvin Tofler said it, there are three waves, Gave one is agro and produces U$S:12000 per year per person. Wave two is industry and produces U$S:80000 per year per person, and wave three is knowledge and produces U$S:300000 per year per person.

   As I see it, USA, Europe and Japan have lots of people in the thrid wave, while third world countries have most of their population in the first and seond wave. The problem is that it hasn't yeat appear (to my knowledge) a fourth wave that can help the first world to keep growing, but for "emerging markets" they still have lot of people to move from the first and second to the third wave, thus outgrowing by far the first world.

   I really expect this trend to continue for 10 or more years, that's why I really thing VWO is a top choice for someone like me (32 years old) that want to invest thinking on a 20 years scope.

   So don't be pessimistic, just invest in emerging markets, sure they are more volatile, but in the long run the will outperform all other markets... at least this is how I see it...

 

 My two cents. 

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