The investerati has convinced the public that if you save a few extra dollars or come into some money, that you need to 'invest' it in the stock market. This is simply not true, there is nothing wrong with a nice safe CD or money market at your local bank.

Having said that, if you have decided to invest, do yourself a favor and invest on your own and save a fortune and I mean a fortune, thirty years of giving up just 1% will cost you half your money, that's right half!

The investment community are masters of marketing and have you convinced that you cannot invest on your own BUT you can and it's easy.

Here's the scoop. 

  • 91% of money managers cannot beat the S&P 500
  • Neither can your stockbroker who charges commissions
  • Neither can your financial advisor who charges fees
How do I know? I was a great salesman and convinced alot of people to take on more risk in stocks and got paid well for doing it. The dirty little secret is that you can do the same thing yourself and save alot of money, hundreds of thousands over a lifetime!

Most stockbrokers or financial advisors are genuinely good guys interested in your accounts well-being. The problem is that your financial guy (and the brokerage firm he works for) get paid either by assets under their control or money in motion and charge you either commissions or fees which simply eat into your returns, IT IS THAT SIMPLE.  Value added, are you kidding? How did you do over the last year compared to the S&P 500?

So instead of being one of the 91%, try to become one of the 9%.


Are Mutual Fund Returns REALLY What They Say?

You hear about this great mutual fund and you jump in.  In the first year it returns 100%, nice, very nice.  The second year isn't so good, down 50%.  The mutual fund then claims an average return of 25% which is technically true if you just do the math and average the two years.
However, if you were a shareholder for both of those years, your return is 0%.  Whatever you gained in the first year was wiped out in the second.  Its called CAGR which is compound annual growth rate which is the 'real' or annualized return.  
As an investor, you need to be wary of many things, only one of which is the 'return' a mutual fund or your stockbroker claims to have achieved.
Since 1990, the stock market (as judged by the S&P 500) returned 11.18% but a CAGR of 9.46%.  That is a massive difference and is one of the many reasons you never seem to do as well as your financial guy says :)