While stocks soared about 25 percent this year, returns for the decade as a whole were the worst in history.
And some experts say the party is just about over for the recent bull market.
Stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange slumped 0.5 percent from the 2000 to 2009 decade, according to the Yale International Center for Finance and Ibbotson Associates.
The only other negative decade since the exchange opened in 1834 was the 1930s.
"The last 10 years have been a nightmare, really poor (for stocks)," Michele Gambera, chief economist at Ibbotson, told The Wall Street Journal.
Part of the problem is that stocks entered the decade overvalued after gains of 17.59 percent in the 1990s and 16.64 percent in the 1980s, say experts such as Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of money management firm GMO.
"We came into this decade horribly overpriced," he told The Journal.
Grantham maintains large-cap stocks are about 30 percent above fair value.
So returns should lag their long-term averages by about 30 percent over the next seven years, he told The Journal.
That would result in yearly returns of only 1.6 percent before inflation.
Grantham isn’t the only pessimist.
Barry Ritholtz, a professional investor and financial author, tells The New York Times that just as investor sentiment was overly bearish in March, it’s now overly bullish.
“History tells us that this will end with a substantial correction,” he said.
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