Friday, July 25, 2008

“Professional money management is a gigantic rip-off”

“Professional money management is a gigantic rip-off.” This was written by one of the most successful fund managers, Bill Gross, Director of PIMCO. He admits that his industry is more about luck than skill. People pay managers for the same reason we all think we are superior car drivers. We all think we are above average. Stop and reason! Average means in the middle. For investments, the average—the S&P 500 index—actually beat 88% of large managed funds.

Recently, a study of the performance of all mutual fund managers over the period 1975 through 2006 shows that NO MANAGER is a consistent winner throughout their career. Some have beaten a market index for some time BUT you can’t count their fees. That’s not fair. We are required to pay the managers’ fees; even when they lose our money! Just think if plumbers operated like that: Get paid handsomely and don’t fix the leak—they would be sued immediately. Managers don’t stop charging when they lose your money.

Take Away: your earnings will be higher by doing nothing—don’t use someone else to pick stocks or funds—just let it ride on the average of the markets.

An investment in a mutual fund that holds common stocks has provided returns of 12% over most periods 10 years or more. An index fund holds many different company stocks so you don’t lose money if one company goes bankrupt. If you use low-cost funds, you will keep more of what your account earns. If the fund earns 12% and you pay 0.1% for bookkeeping, your investment will compound at 11.9% over time. Every year the returns will be different of course. However, when you hold tight and don’t buy and sell, you win. Instead of paying a stock picker, you should pay a hypnotist to make you forget your long-term account. Our members provide their experiences to illustrate where to invest:

Don’t fall for the myth of "professional" money management. Wall Street makes up stories that we want to hear. Money management is just a sophisticated lottery game and only the game owners profit by it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Do you have enough for retirement?

This is the BIG question for many people over age 55 ask their advisors.

Most people over age 55 have no idea if they will have enough saved to be able to quit working and live on the income from their nest egg. They may live another 35 years. Most advisors don’t know the answer either.

There is a simple answer: $5.55 a day.

This is the amount necessary for you to have an additional Wealth Reserve of $150,000 in 20 years. BOTH of you can make the $166.67 monthly contribution and have $300,000. It would take doubling that again—$666.67 a month—to reach $300,000 in less time—15 years. Time is the key factor in compounding your money.

EVERYONE needs more money in retirement because of increasing expenses. Most people need their Social Security income too. That income is now in doubt. Our Treasury Department contends that changes are inevitable, because the program seems likely to become insolvent in 2041. Most policymakers seem to agree that, if benefits must be cut, the cuts should affect higher-income workers and retirees before they affect lower-income workers and retirees. Treasury wrote a new “progressive benefits reduction” analysis.

Everyone can invest $5.55 per day—that’s a cigarette/coffee or a 15 mile trip. Some people can afford to double that. If you can add more, fine. Unless your joint income exceeds $169,000 in 2008, put the money in a Roth IRA. The earnings—$150,000 less $40,000 deposit—are not taxed. There is no income tax, ever. That adds 25% more to your balance. Unlike pensions, regular IRAs, insurance, annuities and savings, there is NO tax or fee. You get to use all your money!

Do you have enough for retirement? NEVER

Ask anyone who is in retirement today. Bread, milk and eggs went up 20% so far. Health care and long-term care expenses are rising. How long will the young people want to pay for our Social Security if it ends before they use it?

Set up an account for you and your spouse in 30 minutes using our members’ strategies: