When both “Frank Curmudgeon” of Bad Money Advice and TFB of The Finance Buff declare a decade as “lost” (TFB) or “misplaced” (Frank) I can’t help but agree. Both are smart commentators on personal finance issues. They know how to compute real internal rates of return. They know what a risk premium is. They both dismantle Ron Lieber’s attempt to put a positive spin on the decade.
So I’ll say it too: in the first decade of the 21st century (more or less) investors lost considerable wealth. The only thing left is to name the no-good-very-bad decade. Frank makes a stab:
I will always think of the 2000-09 period as the Really Fast Decade. Seriously, it feels like it lasted ten months, at most. For investors and savers, one obvious nominee is The Lost Decade. My main objection to this is that the name is already taken, referring to the 1990s in Japan, where two generations of postwar economic expansion came to a sudden and bewildering halt on or about January 1, 1990. Compared to that, our last ten years wasn’t really all that lost. The Misplaced Decade?
Frank is correct that humor is the right salve here. In that spirit I offer The Dryer Sock Decade. Like the mysteriously disappearing footwear of its namesake, the gains it might have offered are gone and wish as you might Ron Lieber they can’t be made to come back.