How Much of This $500 Billion Will Vanish From Your Account?
July 27, 2016
Tomorrow at 9 a.m., you’ll make an important decision. Time will be short, so please use the next 24 hours to prepare. Whatever you decide tomorrow, you must avoid this common misstep. It’s already cost investors like you billions of dollars and is revealed below…
Table of Contents
Over the past few days, we’ve discussed what I consider “the perfect investment” and two serious hurdles facing individual investors looking to accumulate meaningful wealth over the next decade.
Both hurdles are directly related to circumstances unique to this late-stage bull market. If you haven’t had a moment to read over the research I prepared for you, I hope you will do so between now and tomorrow morning.
If nothing else, getting the facts on these costly “hurdles” will aid in the decision you’ll be asked to make bright and early tomorrow — Thursday July 28, 2016.
Meanwhile, there’s one additional “threat” that stands between you and me and the long-term wealth we reasonably want and deserve. Though unlike the other hurdles, this threat is NOT unique to this historic market environment.
Carl Richards, a popular financial planner, blogger, and personal finance “doodler,” calls the phenomenon I’m about to reveal “The Behavior Gap.”
The somewhat more traditional investment advisors and asset managers at Davis Advisors call it the “Investor Behavior Penalty.”
Whatever you call it, it’s costing hardworking U.S. investors money — perhaps you and your family are among them — to the tune of billions each year and trillions of dollars over time.
The phenomenon has gotten so pernicious an independent research outfit called Dalbar has built an entire business around quantifying its effects. Though, as usual with such things, it’s not been without controversy.
Some of my colleagues dispute Dalbar’s data. Others contest the severity of its conclusions. Given that the firm caters to — and profits alongside — the financial services industry, still others question the company’s objectivity.
Yet there’s one thing nobody denies: The phenomenon at the center of the controversy is very REAL — and over the years, it has systematically and needlessly drained billions if not trillions of dollars from the accounts of individual investors.
Given the historical persistence of this mechanism at work, the results of this year’s annual report were not surprising (again you can question the magnitude but the direction is undeniable). According to Dalbar’s latest findings…
The total cost to U.S stock and mutual fund investors in 2015 exceeded 3.5% of their rightful investment profits (strictly speaking, we should say “percentage points”) — money that by all rights should be ours to keep.
Meaning that in a year where the broader markets gained a meager, yet positive 1.38% — or $250 billion. The typical U.S. investor was DOWN -2.2%. That’s $400 billion in lost wealth and a total cost of more than half a trillion dollars!
Over the past 20 years, the annual “cost” was eerily consistent — also on the order of 3.5 percentage points per year. The numbers are staggering. Again, that’s money pilfered straight off the bottom line net worth of hardworking U.S. investors!
You’re right to suggest that fees, taxes, and commissions account for some of this “stolen” money. But even they’re not the whole story. In fact, combined they’re not even the primary driver of this generational wealth drain.
It’s not poor investment decisions that are costing investors trillions, either — at least not in the aggregate. In fact, according to Dalbar, “No evidence has been found to link predictably poor investment recommendations” to the loss of wealth.
Perhaps most troubling, even the most supportive financial advisors and the most successful portfolio managers have struggled to protect you from this threat — even when their investment selection and market timing is impeccable.
Unfortunately, this goes for me, too.
Which means that if you’re a member of Smart Trader, you’re still vulnerable. Even more so as a long-term investor and Charter Member of Smart Investing. Which is why it’s so crucial that I get in touch with you tomorrow morning.
You see, while the problem we’re discussing will never be “solved,” I have come up with what I consider to be a truly remarkable solution I think you’re really going to like. I can’t wait to run it by you tomorrow and see what you think.
But here’s the important thing today…
Whether you agree I’ve come up with the right solution for you… or whether you decide that the advice you’re receiving, including what I provide you as a member of Smart Investing… it’s important to me that you’re aware of this threat.
I hope you appreciate that I’m not some elitist who scoffs at the prudence and judgment of self-directed, so-called “mom and pop” investors. In fact, I’m convinced that folks like you have distinct advantages over the “pros” I speak with every day.
Yet , there’s no sense denying the data…
According to the folks at Dalbar… financial planner Carl Richards… my friends at Davis Advisors… and nearly every other professional I know… the threat that has cost investors nearly half their rightful profits over the past 20 years is simple…
You may have guessed: It’s our own behavior. Again, by “behavior” I don’t mean selecting poor investments or acting on bad advice. Though in individual cases, this can lead — and has led — to nothing less than ruin.
In fact, when Dalbar (and Morningstar and others) study this phenomenon, they find that investors not only under-perform relative to one another — they fail to achieve the results delivered by the very funds and investments they invest in.
And, yes, that holds true for so-called passive investors who invest in broad market index funds expressly to earn the market return! As paradoxical as this sounds, if you think about it, it’s fairly obvious how and why this is so…
Invariably, well-meaning investors, buffered by noise in the media and driven by natural human emotions (most notably fear, apprehension, euphoria, and greed), take actions detrimental to their long-term wealth.
This includes but is not limited to committing more than planned when markets or individual investments are “hot” (known as performance chasing) and withdrawing money or hiding in cash when markets look shaky or sell off.
In short, investors systematically cost themselves billions of dollars per year by abandoning their well-conceived investment plans and attempting to “adjust course on the fly” in reaction to the latest conditions and knee-jerk market moves.
Again, I hope none of this offends you. I admit that I am every bit as vulnerable to these urges. So much so, my team and I regularly and systematically go to great lengths to make certain we don’t deviate from our well-considered plans.
I have a hunch that none of this is news to you. I also sense that you’re more capable of controlling your emotions than most — limiting their impact on your long-term plans and your ability to reach your lofty financial goals.
Yet decades of research suggests this hasn’t always been easy. Rather, the data suggests that even if we double our original investments over the next three to five years — as is our mission — many of our members will fail to keep pace.
Worse, the odds may actually be getting even more precarious — particularly, if the “threats” we discussed this week actually come to pass.
Even better, once you’ve got all the information, please be sure to let me know how to get in touch with you. Then, by all means, be on hand bright and early tomorrow morning to read over a private invitation from my portfolio management team and from me personally.
I promise I’ll be as brief as possible. But I think you’ll find it an enjoyable read. More importantly, I think you’ll agree that I’ve come up with an intriguing solution to each and every one of the very real risks and hurdles we’ve discussed this week.
All I ask is that you please be on hand to read over your invitation and get back to me just as soon as possible. Unlike Smart Investing where we welcome all comers… or Smart Trader, where members essentially “self select”…
What I’m going to share with you is imminently suitable to almost everyone who will receive my invitation — but will be by necessity an extremely limited opportunity.
More than anything, I would hate for you to miss out on a potentially life-changing opportunity. So please let me know how to reach you.