Introduction: Three Paths to a Prosperous Future

The first decade of the twenty-first century has not been kind to investors. On average, stocks lost about 1% per year over the ten-year period or more than 10% for the entire decade. During the decade we saw the collapse of three bubbles: the dot-com boom came to an end in 2000, the meteoric rise in housing prices in the middle years of the decade reversed sharply in 2007, and then in 2008 the massive over-leveraging of the banking system came home to roost, very nearly destroying the economy. The decade saw the emergence of vibrant economies and stock markets in the developing world, particularly in China but also in places such as Russia, Brazil, and India, among others. Investors hungry for ...

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