No. of Recommendations: 3
You aren't going to earn a 10 percent return. The 20th century is over. No responsible advisor is now telling people to expect the high returns we saw back in the day. You're on the right track, but you need to have more realistic expectations. Get away from the fool and advice that was written over 5 years ago and check what actual stock market fund advisors are saying based on post 9/11 world. You should plan on returns LONG-TERM of around 3 to 4 percent, some will go out on a ledge and say 6 percent.

But not 10 percent. Your plan is not "conservative" if it relies on that number. Do you see that little phrase at the bottom of each prospectus reminding you that returns are not guaranteed to match historical results? Take it very, very seriously.

If you take just the 90 highest-earning days out of the history of the market, you will discover that the average annual return collapses substantially from around 10 percent to more like a bit above inflation. So be realistic in your plans.

You're off to a good start. I don't want to discourage you. But sometimes people become even more angry and discouraged when they realize that they have been sort of fibbed to and made unrealistic plans based on unrealistic expectations. It is better to be clear-eyed now than to be angry and blow it all on a trip to Vegas when you hit your midlife crisis! :-)

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