HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

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PNW$$
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HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by PNW$$ » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:59 pm

Hello all,

I am new to the community but have been a devout indexer and Bogle fan and Vanguard loyalist for the past 15 years. Over that time I have helped a number of close acquaintances with their finances and introduce to them to simple, disciplined, low cost investing which has worked out very well for me and for them.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Some close friends of mine have started to get the hard sell from a "financial professional" who is bad mouthing all we've done and trying to convince them to switch to him and let him manage their money. He is pitching that by "knowing the industry" and "feeling the pulse of the markets" he can do better. Needless to say, he is full of crap and I'm looking for the proof. A few months ago I saw a HUGE table that showed all of the funds and showed that a low cost index beat ALL of them (I think it was from Bloomberg). I should of saved it but my mind is already convinced so I didn't feel the need.

Does anyone have it or something similar?????? Thanks

Norwegian
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by Norwegian » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:51 am

I don't have any info on your specific request, but how about the Warren Buffett S&P bet?

"A decade ago, the investor made a bet for a cool $1 million with a hedge fund manager that a low-cost S&P 500 index fund would fare better than a collection of a Protégé Partners hedge funds.

On Friday, the bet was officially sealed in Buffett's favor when the closing bell rang at the New York Stock Exchange. The final tally, according to The Wall Street Journal, saw Buffett's fund have a compounded 7.1 percent annual return, compared to his opponent's 2.2 average return."

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/306846

The Wizard
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by The Wizard » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:18 am

Thing is, in a given year, there will always be a few managed funds that will beat the S&P 500.
But they are not the same funds from year to year.
It's not going to be easy to beat a well rehearsed shark on this point.

Still, it would be good to see evidence proving index superiority over three and five year periods...
Attempted new signature...

ignition
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by ignition » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:42 am


hicabob
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by hicabob » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:52 am

perhaps straight from the "horses mouth"?


http://jpm.iijournals.com/content/40/5/42

"Among all of the fine articles published in that inaugural edition, one struck me like a bolt of lightning. It was Paul Samuelson’s “Challenge to Judgment.” In a mere four pages, this distinguished Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences—using nothing but his canny common sense to recognize the obvious—demolished the myth that “there could exist a subset of [investment] decision makers…capable of doing better than the [stock market] averages on a repeatable, sustainable basis.”
Last edited by hicabob on Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

Mr.BB
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by Mr.BB » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:52 am

You should also tell your friends that when the financial planner shows his numbers make sure that he's also including any upfront load costs, as well as expense ratio cost of the funds he chooses as well as the cost of his services. How does that all add up againat the index funds returns?
Last edited by Mr.BB on Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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lostdog
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by lostdog » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:17 am

I would not get involved. Let your friends learn the hard way. Most of us on this board learned the hard way.

If your friends buy into index funds and all of a sudden there is a recession, they'll blame you.

mega317
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by mega317 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:36 am

lostdog wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:17 am
I would not get involved. Let your friends learn the hard way. Most of us on this board learned the hard way.

If your friends buy into index funds and all of a sudden there is a recession, they'll blame you.
My thoughts exactly. I will give negative advice about stuff like this but don't suggest what people should do unless they ask. And even then I only point them to references.

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greg24
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by greg24 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:57 am

Have your friends ask the salesperson if they are willing to act as a fiduciary.

goblue100
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by goblue100 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:24 am

Find out what that advisor costs them. 1% AUM adds up quickly. Maybe this will help?
https://investor.vanguard.com/investing ... t-of-costs

"Investment costs might not seem like a big deal, but they add up, compounding along with your investment returns. In other words, you don't just lose the tiny amount of fees you pay—you also lose all the growth that money might have had for years into the future.
Imagine you have $100,000 invested. If the account earned 6% a year for the next 25 years and had no costs or fees, you'd end up with about $430,000.
If, on the other hand, you paid 2% a year in costs, after 25 years you'd only have about $260,000.
That's right: The 2% you paid every year would wipe out almost 40% of your final account value. 2% doesn't sound so small anymore, does it?"
Can't take it with you when you're gone | But I want enough to get there on - Rollin with the flow - Jerry Hayes

Quantumfizz
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by Quantumfizz » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:59 am

FWIW, there are plenty of funds out there that can and have historically beat the returns of the market (depends which benchmark you refer to), but the chance of a FA doing that - slim to none.

PVW
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by PVW » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:11 pm

Tell your friends to ask this financial professional to show his verified track record of investment returns, net of fees.

In the unlikely event this advisor has actually beat the market, this approach might backfire - or there is a reasonable chance the advisor will continue to beat the market and you may be forced to eat crow. The more likely tactic is the advisor will show some hypothetical past returns of cherry-picked funds and periods. If your friends still believe his story when his charade is exposed, you might not be able to help them.

aristotelian
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by aristotelian » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:19 pm

You might check out the Morningstar Active-Passive Barometer. https://www.morningstar.com/blog/2018/0 ... ssive.html

Jill07
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by Jill07 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:12 pm

You have already given your friends some advice. It’s up to them now. If you persist & convince them to follow your investment suggestions, they will hold you responsible when the market inevitably goes down.

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:24 pm

thanks to ignition and hicabob. I'm bookmarking this post because of those two links you provided. Excellent.

Any thoughts on why of all the countries listed, India and Japan's index funds underperformed the active managed funds?

56.6% of India's active management beat their version of the S&P and
55.69% of Japan's active managed funds beat their version of the S&P?

https://us.spindices.com/spiva/#/reports

Anybody else find that interesting?

To the OP (PNW$$), I can only hope your friends aren't in India or Japan. In that case, index funds could be a hard sell over active management.
"Invest we must." -- Jack Bogle | “The purpose of investing is not to simply optimise returns and make yourself rich. The purpose is not to die poor.” -- William Bernstein

iamlucky13
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:33 pm

PVW wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:11 pm
Tell your friends to ask this financial professional to show his verified track record of investment returns, net of fees.
I've never dealt with these types of pitches, but I'm guessing he'll probably be glad to. He probably has examples of portfolios to show that have performed well, whether actual investments he has implemented for clients in the past, or that he has constructed to offer in the future which back test well. Comparing those to index funds, especially over limited historical periods, he can probably come across as very convincing to most people. You'll likely never know what skeletons are in the closet.

So I'd simply stick with refreshing oneself on the academic research showing the lower average performance of active funds and the low likelihood of achieving sustained above median performance. Sorry, I don't have links handy, but the SPIVA scorecards linked above look interesting and relevant.

Keep in mind also a common hard sell tactic is for a salesman to suggest you need to justify your decision to turn them down. Don't fall for it. The challenge of responding coherently on the spot to somebody who's job necessitates they be better prepared than you and who likely practices the art of misdirection can induce self-doubt or rash decisions because it feels like saving face.

Neither you nor your friends owe him anything, not even your time listening to him, and ESPECIALLY not an immediate decision. A courteous and reasonable response is "Thank you for your information, I will take this home and consider it and call/email you if I decide I'd like to continue this discussion."

GrowthSeeker
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by GrowthSeeker » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:46 pm

If the friend's money manager / salesman is so great at investing then why the heck does he need to collect fees from investors? He should have been able to grow his own money into a fortune over the past decade.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.

david1082b
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by david1082b » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:52 pm

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:24 pm
thanks to ignition and hicabob. I'm bookmarking this post because of those two links you provided. Excellent.

Any thoughts on why of all the countries listed, India and Japan's index funds underperformed the active managed funds?

56.6% of India's active management beat their version of the S&P and
55.69% of Japan's active managed funds beat their version of the S&P?

https://us.spindices.com/spiva/#/reports

Anybody else find that interesting?

To the OP (PNW$$), I can only hope your friends aren't in India or Japan. In that case, index funds could be a hard sell over active management.
The data look confusing, since down the left of the page for India it says:
Percentage of Indian Equity Large-Cap funds that underperformed the S&P BSE 100

Five-Year 43.40%
Three-Year 53.00%
One-Year 59.38 %
So over one-year and three-years, most Indian funds underperformed, but not over five years. I don't know what to make of it. One question is how would you have gotten exposure to the outperformance anyway, you'd surely have to buy all the active funds, but surely that would cost too much in purchase fees? You'd also need to buy all the new funds "just in case" too. Easier to get an index fund with low purchase fees if possible and just accept the return.

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:48 am

david1082b wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:52 pm
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:24 pm
thanks to ignition and hicabob. I'm bookmarking this post because of those two links you provided. Excellent.

Any thoughts on why of all the countries listed, India and Japan's index funds underperformed the active managed funds?

56.6% of India's active management beat their version of the S&P and
55.69% of Japan's active managed funds beat their version of the S&P?

https://us.spindices.com/spiva/#/reports

Anybody else find that interesting?

To the OP (PNW$$), I can only hope your friends aren't in India or Japan. In that case, index funds could be a hard sell over active management.
The data look confusing, since down the left of the page for India it says:
Percentage of Indian Equity Large-Cap funds that underperformed the S&P BSE 100

Five-Year 43.40%
Three-Year 53.00%
One-Year 59.38 %
So over one-year and three-years, most Indian funds underperformed, but not over five years. I don't know what to make of it. One question is how would you have gotten exposure to the outperformance anyway, you'd surely have to buy all the active funds, but surely that would cost too much in purchase fees? You'd also need to buy all the new funds "just in case" too. Easier to get an index fund with low purchase fees if possible and just accept the return.
very good counterarguments. thanks for your thoughts.
"Invest we must." -- Jack Bogle | “The purpose of investing is not to simply optimise returns and make yourself rich. The purpose is not to die poor.” -- William Bernstein

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oldzey
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by oldzey » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:38 am

"The broker said the stock was 'poised to move.' Silly me, I thought he meant up." ― Randy Thurman

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:56 am

Nice paper linked above.

But don't oversell it. It is not the case that a diversified index fund portfolio will outperform anything else ever and always.

A sales person can always come up with a portfolio that would have outperformed the total stock market for any time period you want to name, because the sales person, like the rest of us, has access to computers that remember history, and can look up what actually happened, and then go back and say "well, now that I know how things turned out I can figure out what I should have invested in 1/5/10/20 years ago."

Also, most of us as we start accumulating more and have fewer work years ahead of us, want to put some of our money in fixed income instead of having it all in stocks. And that balanced portfolio is somewhat safer than an all stock portfolio in a recession or market crash, but will not perform as well as a stock portfolio in a long term run-up such as we have had lately. Again, with perfect hindsight, a sales person can tell you what you should have done.

But what no one is any good at predicting over the long term is what will happen in the future, and which funds will outperform which other portfolios over the next 1/5/10/20 years.

So the people on this forum accept that we can't predict the future nor can anyone else. And instead of thinking that we can pay well-dressed smooth-talking experts to predict the future for us, we save our money and buy low-fee investments that will work for us whatever may come.

If your friends want to believe the fairy tale that the well-dressed smooth-talking experts have something valuable to sell, it's hard to help them.

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Rick Ferri
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by Rick Ferri » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:04 am

Indexing does not beat 100% of actively managed strategies. About 10% of active strategies will outperform over a 15 year period. But which 10%? They all sound so sophisticated and promising, yet no one has come up with a way to ensure they’re in that 10%.

Maybe you can get it to a 30% probably if you use low cost active funds. But then there is another problem. The strategies that outperform only beat by about half the amount the losing strategies underperform. So even if you’re in a winning strategy, on average you’re not getting paid nearly enough for the risk of underperforming.

Rick Ferri
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JW-Retired
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by JW-Retired » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:34 am

PNW$$ wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:59 pm
A few months ago I saw a HUGE table that showed all of the funds and showed that a low cost index beat ALL of them (I think it was from Bloomberg). I should of saved it but my mind is already convinced so I didn't feel the need.

Does anyone have it or something similar?????? Thanks
I don't know what that table was but if you correct for the typically big fee difference, a low cost index fund just ties the average of the all the funds in the same market. Given the statistics of many thousands of active funds, somebody can always find plenty that beat various indexes over long periods in the past.

This guy just needs to lie and say he picked those "good" funds years ago. If that works on your friends there is nothing you can do.
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Dottie57
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:55 am

GrowthSeeker wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:46 pm
If the friend's money manager / salesman is so great at investing then why the heck does he need to collect fees from investors? He should have been able to grow his own money into a fortune over the past decade.
Bingo!

ignition
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by ignition » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:10 am

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:24 pm
thanks to ignition and hicabob. I'm bookmarking this post because of those two links you provided. Excellent.

Any thoughts on why of all the countries listed, India and Japan's index funds underperformed the active managed funds?

56.6% of India's active management beat their version of the S&P and
55.69% of Japan's active managed funds beat their version of the S&P?

https://us.spindices.com/spiva/#/reports

Anybody else find that interesting?

To the OP (PNW$$), I can only hope your friends aren't in India or Japan. In that case, index funds could be a hard sell over active management.
That is indeed very interesting. When I look at the report for Japan I see that the active small/mid cap funds outperformed the index by almost 12% on an asset-weighted basis in 2017. That is a huge difference.

I really don't understand how that is possible. Maybe a lot of the assets are in the hands of retail investors/foreign investors who underperform hugely compared to the domestic Japanese funds? Or the index isn't comprehensive and excludes a lot of small/mid cap stocks?

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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by goblue100 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:56 am

Rick Ferri wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:04 am
Indexing does not beat 100% of actively managed strategies. About 10% of active strategies will outperform over a 15 year period. But which 10%? They all sound so sophisticated and promising, yet no one has come up with a way to ensure they’re in that 10%.

Maybe you can get it to a 30% probably if you use low cost active funds. But then there is another problem. The strategies that outperform only beat by about half the amount the losing strategies underperform. So even if you’re in a winning strategy, on average you’re not getting paid nearly enough for the risk of underperforming.

Rick Ferri
Looks like not even 10%. More like 5-6% over 15 years.
http://www.aei.org/publication/more-evi ... ant-do-it/
Similarly, over the 15-year investment horizon, 92.33% of large-cap managers, 94.81% of mid-cap managers, and 95.73% of small-cap managers failed to outperform on a relative basis (see red highlight in table).
Can't take it with you when you're gone | But I want enough to get there on - Rollin with the flow - Jerry Hayes

Doctor Rhythm
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by Doctor Rhythm » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:12 pm

Apologies if these Vanguard perspectives have already been shared:

https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/ISGIDX.pdf
https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/ISGBEL.pdf

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by FrugalInvestor » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:19 pm

greg24 wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:57 am
Have your friends ask the salesperson if they are willing to act as a fiduciary.
And if he or she says "yes" ask them to put it in writing.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

Jags4186
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:25 pm

Contrarian view: Don't be involved with your friends' finances. When the market tanks and their index funds go through the floor they'll blame you.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:50 pm

Even a fiduciary can give bad advice, or manage a portfolio in a way that is highly unlikely to outperform a lower cost portfolio over time. Fiduciary status is good for someone who has the authority to make investment decisions on your behalf, but isn't anywhere near good enough. Most brokerages decided that if they had to be fiduciaries for their clients retirement money it meant they had to charge an AUM fee instead of a commission. That's still a lot of money on a large account, and they can still recommend funds with higher expense ratios than you could get otherwise.

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:22 pm

Rick Ferri wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:04 am
Indexing does not beat 100% of actively managed strategies. About 10% of active strategies will outperform over a 15 year period. But which 10%? They all sound so sophisticated and promising, yet no one has come up with a way to ensure they’re in that 10%.

Maybe you can get it to a 30% probably if you use low cost active funds. But then there is another problem. The strategies that outperform only beat by about half the amount the losing strategies underperform. So even if you’re in a winning strategy, on average you’re not getting paid nearly enough for the risk of underperforming.

Rick Ferri
That's good to know. I knew that in any given year around 20% of active funds tend to beat index funds but the longer they go, the greater chance of underperformance. Good to know even 10% can outperform over a 15 year period. But not only do you not know which ones in advance, but:

1. by the time you find the ones that did outperform reversion to the mean is likely and you'll get the fund that will underperform (you didn't capture the past returns) and
2. Most savings period and/or retirement periods last longer than 15 years so what does it even matter if you have a fund that outperformed over a 15 year period...if it underperforms over the next X number of years?
"Invest we must." -- Jack Bogle | “The purpose of investing is not to simply optimise returns and make yourself rich. The purpose is not to die poor.” -- William Bernstein

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by oldcomputerguy » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:16 pm

PNW$$ wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:59 pm
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Some close friends of mine have started to get the hard sell from a "financial professional" who is bad mouthing all we've done and trying to convince them to switch to him and let him manage their money. He is pitching that by "knowing the industry" and "feeling the pulse of the markets" he can do better.
You don't have to prove anything. He's the one making the audacious claims; ask him to back it up with hard data.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

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jharkin
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Re: HELP!!!!! Need to find documentation of index superiority

Post by jharkin » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:30 pm

It’s not worth the trouble. I got into a long discussion with somebody at work once who was going on and on about how active portfolio management can beat indexing because of “better liquidity” and the “ability to capitalize on short term opportunities”

In other words... day trading :oops:

I tried to explain the difference between trading and investing, gave him links to the buffet bet, the articles about how poorly university endowments do, the vanguard white paper on indexing, Rick Ferri articles... you name it. He didn’t buy any of it, did t have a single reference to backup his wild market beating claims.

Of course everyone listening in took his side. Market beating claims are appealing to the uninformed.

I just remind myself that 25 years from now the guy will probably still be at his desk, regreting not taking a better look at index funds...... I’ll be sitting on a beach somewhere.

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