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And Now for the Bad News on Recent Stock Returns…

As noted above, the vast majority of the gains from the past four-decade-long bull market from — Reagan through the Trump presidency — were REAL gains, not inflationary gains.

Not true under Biden.  We estimate that about 80% of the stock rise during Biden’s tenure has been phantom gains due to inflation.

Alas, these illusionary gains are subject to taxes since capital gains aren’t indexed to inflation.

Those who invested with after-tax dollars in vehicles like a Roth are hurt less by this, since their contributions grow tax-free.  But the typical saver using pre-tax dollars, including in a traditional 401(k), will get absolutely crushed when withdrawing funds in retirement, and pay hefty taxes even on investments that haven’t gain any value in real terms.

Biden Stock Gains Almost All Due to Inflation

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