Not long ago, I asked a group of advisers who read my newsletter, Inside Information: Given all the recent market turmoil, what future, after-inflation market returns are you using in your retirement projections and Monte Carlo simulations-and why?

The collective median and average numbers were a bit surprising. But far more interesting was the way that advisers are thinking these days. Ten years ago, if asked a similar question, most advisers would have confidently said that the historical returns over the last 40 or 70 years were X and that there was no good reason to think we could outwit history, so X was their number. The only main difference between one adviser and another would have been how far back they looked.

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