Rekenthaler Report

What Are Realistic 401(k) Expectations?

John Rekenthaler

What Was
Yesterday’s column was a history test. If somebody joined the workforce in 1948, held an ordinary job for the next 67 years, put about 10% of her salary into U.S. stock each year, and held tight, what would be the result? Might she accumulate a fortune so large as to attract the attention of The New York Times?

She might, and she did. Sylvia Bloom, a longtime legal secretary, amassed $9.2 million by putting her spare cash into stocks, and then holding ... for decades. As yesterday’s column demonstrated, her gains required no financial wizardry. The U.S. stock market has been so strong for so long that a steady, persistent buyer such as Bloom couldn’t help but make several millions.