After compiling perhaps the most impressive performance record of any thrift executives, Herbert M. and Marion O. Sandler of Golden West Financial Corp. are reaching the point where people are asking the inevitable questions about how long they can keep it up.

In the average year of the 29 since they took the Oakland, Calif., company public, per-share earnings grew 18.24%, per-share book value 17.28%, and assets 18.32%. By all three measures, Golden West has done better than any other big bank or thrift.

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