When it comes to investing for the long term, the overriding factor that will determine future investment returns, other than time, is the value of the asset at the time you buy it.  Think back to the early part of this century (the technology bubble).  If you had decided to invest in late 2000 in the broad US stock market, you would have spent the last 13 years hoping to get back to break-even and most likely gone through a number of bottles of TUMS.

I have spent the last 18 years as an individual focused on

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