Since the "Great Recession," we’ve seen a number of years where equity returns have been above average. In fact, since the S&P 500’s low in March 2009, it has risen more than 200%. Over the past 30 years the S&P 500 has averaged above 12% per year and the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index as averaged above 7% per year.
It’s important to remember that below-average years do occur and to keep our market expectations realistic. According to J.P. Morgan Asset Management, in 19 of the last 35 years, markets suffered a decline of 10% or more, and in all but two of those 35 years, markets saw a 5% decline or more.
Not every investment performs well every year or moves in the same directions as other investments. Having a well-diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds can help smooth fluctuations in your portfolio over time.
Financial Factoid: Debt Concerns
The 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 13% of workers and 9% of retirees (down from 20% and 16%, respectively, last year) report their level of debt is a major problem. An additional 38% of workers and 22% of retirees call debt a minor problem, the study showed.
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