My first book, Rule #1, was a guide to stock trading for people who believe they lack the knowledge to trade. It was deeply satisfying to see Rule #1 reach #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and sell hundreds of thousands of copies. I’ve since come to realize, though, that many people aren’t ready to go from mutual funds directly into trading without understanding investing—for the long term.
But there’s the catch, and the reason for Payback Time: Too often, people see long-term investing as “mutual fund contributing” – otherwise known as “long-term hoping.” And, take it from me, “hoping” is not going to pay for food, shelter and medical care in twenty or thirty years. The sad truth is that mutual fund investors are, to a stunning degree, pinning their hopes on an institution that is hopeless.
I’m baffled by why so many people trust fund managers to grow their money given that the vast majority have proven that they can’t beat the market. Indeed, only 4% have shown themselves capable of beating the S&P 500 index over the long term, which means that 96% of fund investors see a smaller return on their nest egg than a chimpanzee who simply buys stocks in the 500 biggest companies in America and watches what happens.
But it’s worse than that. The net effect of hitching your wagon to mutual funds is that over a lifetime they’ll fritter away as much 60% of your nest egg in fees. In Payback Time, I walk you through how yearly fees of as little as 1 to 2% wreak devastation on your portfolio -- and once you understand how funds engineer this, you’ll rush to invest on your own.
The risk-free approach I’m advocating here is called “stockpiling” and it’s what we&rsquo...
PHIL TOWN has addressed millions of people, sharing the stage with such respected public figures as Bill Clinton, Colin Powell and Rudy Giuliani. He appears frequently on CNBC as an investing expert. Currently, he makes his home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
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