From 1926 to 2016, the average annual return for the S&P 500 index was 10.2%. A statistic like this shapes the way we set expectations for future returns for our own portfolios, but without having the right perspective we might be setting ourselves up for disappointment. For example, over that 91 year period how often do you think the S&P 500 produced returns within the range of 8% to 12%? You might be surprised to learn that this was only achieved six times over this period. In the other 85 years, returns were either higher than 12% or lower than 8%. Today’s recommended reading article, “What’s your benchmark for investment success?” is penned by Donald Bennyhoff of Vanguard, providing us with some additional perspective on market returns and why it’s so difficult to set expectations for returns in any individual year.