Originally Posted by Mysto
I see mention of projections of reduced expectations of average future returns for equities and bonds.
What are the experts prediciting and what are the sources for those predictions
You can read through articles at Bernstein's site
or this summary
The Gordon Equation says that a stock or a bond will return its income stream plus its growth rate. Of course you get to pick the numbers for that unstable equation, in which tiny variations of input result in huge variations of output, but 6.5% for stocks and 6% for bonds seems to be a concensus for long-term returns.
A much more detailed discussion of long-term returns is in "Triumph of the Optimists"
. It's a coffee-table book that can break your foot bones if you drop it, or that'll cut off circulation to your legs if you read it while it's resting in your lap, but it's a good review of long-term returns in 16 different countries. It's worth its weight in financial analysts or WSJ subscriptions. It'll make you stop worrying about next week or next year and you'll start thinking about inflation & decades-long returns instead of what the experts are predicting.
Keep in mind that these are average returns of the entire broad bond/stock market, not specific asset classes. The Gordon equation works for me as long as inflation stays around 2-3% for the next six or seven decades. How hard could that be?