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The best investing minds in the world (including the likes of Warren Buffet) are expecting stock returns of 6% to 7% for the next decade or so. And that, of course, is not guaranteed. Your mortgage at 5% or 6% is a rock-solid guaranteed cost. That means your expected spread is between 0% and 2%. Those are pretty thin spreads.

I am sure I can get more than 7% from stocks during the next 30 years, but I don't insist on this. The big difference between the mortgage interest rate and the market return is that the former is simple, and the second is compounding. This difference will completely trounce the spread you are talking about after 30 years. Even if the rates are identical, investing will come way ahead.

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