Utopian Pessimist Calls on Radical Tech to Save Economy, article/interview.
Peter Thiel: "People take it for granted that their retirement funds can earn 8.5 percent a year. That’s what their financial planners tell them. And sure, you look back over the past 100 years, the stock market has generally gone up 6 to 8 percent a year. But in a larger historical perspective, that kind of growth is exceptional."
Thanks, Peter! I've said something similar in my money article. Given risk, inflation, etc, you can't expect the near-ten-percent growth that everybody likes to talk about as a god-given right. In fact I think that if you are risk-averse, you should be happy with any significant growth at all after inflation.
And I do think that the past couple of years have proven that it's prudent to be risk-aversive! Even great banks can fail spectacularly. So if you have capital, spread it over at least three banks, and put a bit in cash in your home, and quite a bit in gold bullion (not paper gold, actual coins like Krugerands) in a safe place.