The past decade has been a poor one for equities, with the benchmark Standard and Poors 500 Index returning 105.15%, for an annualized gain of only 7.45%. The typical investor who manages his or her own purchases and sales has done even worse, getting proceeds of only about half that S&P 500 Index record!
In the same period, however, a select group of value mutual funds, though as a group less volatile than the overall market, has averaged returns of 11.24% a year. A hypothetical $3000 each invested in them on August 1, 2003 (if protected from taxes in trusts, IRAs, 457 plans, or 401Ks, with no withdrawals and the capital gains plus dividends reinvested), would have had a combined worth of $87,042 as of July 31, 2013. In a 30-year career, even with no further investments, such an initial outlay, if left untouched, would at that rate grow to $732,760.