Some financial market forecasters believe that the upcoming retirement of baby boomers spells trouble for the stock market in coming decades. « These observers suggest that as baby boomers retire they will sell their stock holdings to generate income needed for retirement, causing stock prices to decline or at least to have limited appreciation potential, » says Dan Goldie a financial advisor to wealthy individuals and families in Menlo Park, California. ; »These same folks generally attribute the excessive stock gains of the 1990s to baby boomer accumulation of stocks. They assume that demography is destiny, and that demographic changes determine stock market returns. » To a casual observer this might sound plausible, but logical analysis exposes the shortcomings of this thinking. There are many factors other than demographics that influence stock returns. According to Mr. Goldie, « It is far too simplistic to assume that basic population changes, which are known by markets participants decades in advance, are a major determinant of future stock returns. » Long-term market returns are determined by the cost of capital, not demographics. Certainly, demographics could cause a change in the cost of capital, but it would likely be a small change and would affect all asset classes, not just

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