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.

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