Here is a fact: paying people money to give you investment advice is a waste of your money. It will not make you money. DO NOT HIRE INVESTMENT ADVISORS, STOP NOW.

This is not a new insight; John Bogle of Vanguard, for example, has been yapping about this fact for decades. Yet—here's the funny thing—people and institutions around the world (including your very own retirement fund, in all likelihood!) still pay billions and billions of dollars to investment advisors each year. It's truly amazing. Despite having been mathematically proven to be completely without value, the industry persists, due to quirks of human psychology. These advisors take your money, and then charge you a percentage of that money in order to tell you where to invest the rest of your money. And what do you get, for the money you pay them? In aggregate, absolutely nothing.

Here is the very latest research that proves that, out of Oxford, via the FT:

On an equal-weighted basis, US equity funds recommended by consultants underperformed other funds by 1.1 per cent a year between 1999 and 2011, according to analysis of 29 consultancies accounting for more than 90 per cent of the market by a team from Oxford university’s Saïd Business School...

The paper speculated institutional investors continued to rely on recommendations either because they want a “hand-holding service”, a “shield” to defend their decisions, or are “simply unaware how accurate or inaccurate” consultants’ calls are.

Are some advisors able to beat the market? Yes. Are you, or your pension fund, able to know which advisors will beat the market? No. In total, the entire industry is not worth a nickel to you, the investor. The great insight of John Bogle was: the only thing you can really predict about investing is how high the fees you'll be paying are. So if you pay lower fees, you will do better. So instead of paying high fees to some "investment professionals" in return for no benefit, just pay low fees for some index funds, the end.

I encourage you to print out this article and give a copy to whoever is responsible for choosing the investment advisors for your retirement money. And when you give it to them, ask them whether they are looking for a hand-holding service, a shield for their own mistakes, or are they just stupid?

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