I received a spam email today, entitled: “Your 401K can Earn Up to 6.9%”.
Not so long ago the scams and get-rich-quick schemes offered multi-hundred percent annual rates of return on investment capital.
Today’s hot come-on is the promise of a point or two over the old T-Bill rate, for retirement savings. (And before you say that this is probably an offer of annuities, and therefore close to realistic, consider that it came in an unsolicited message to my @chicagoboyz email account, which attracts a lot of spam. Spammers go for popular themes and fantasies, like easy sex or quintupling your money on penny stocks. But an offer to plunge on a 7% return on a retirement account, not much more than the most conservative investors once took for granted? Pathetic.)
In a robust economy with a reasonable Fed and credit markets you’d be able to earn 2-4% above the inflation rate with essentially no risk. In today’s economy even spammers are reaching for yield.