Well, I'm not a respected Fleet Street money journalist, merely a no-account bearish personal financial adviser, but I'd suggest that in the exciting investment world of today, maybe a five-year period is not a good basis for comparing long-term results, or conditioning expectations for the future.
I had a client ask my opinion about investments a couple of years ago, because his bank had been showing him their fund's marvellous growth over a three-year period. I took time to explain to my client that over the five years to date (then), the graph (as for the FTSE 100) described a kind of bowl shape, and the period chosen by his bank just happened to draw a line from the bottom of the bowl to the lip.
I then showed him the five-year line in all its loveliness:
I think it's fair to say that these are not ordinary times. There has been a steady build-up of electrical charge, so to speak, over something like a decade (some would say, much longer), and there may well be some powerful bolts unleashed as a result. Where will the lightning will strike next: a steeple, an oak tree, a cap badge - who can tell?
Massive debt; changes in the balance of international trade; demographic weakening of future public finances; sneaky currency devaluation; wild financial speculation; wars and the rumours of wars; imprecisely known ecological limits to growth; declining energy resources; the desperation of the world's poor to join our fantastic lifestyle; our fear that we may lose the comfortable living we used to imagine was our birthright; the corruption, abuse and neglect of the young; the selfishness of their parents and the middle-aged; the increasing burden and growing neglect and abuse of the old.In all this turmoil, making five-year investment performance comparisons has an air of unreality, like planning tomorrow's menu on a mortally-wounded ocean liner.