Personal Finance Blog for Retirement and Investment Advice

Many Stock Market Investors Haven’t Kept Up With Inflation Over the Last 20 Years – DALBAR 2019 Report

What kind of return would you have to get in the stock market to make it worth the risk and gut-wrenching ups and downs?

Would you put your life’s savings at risk for a 5% annual return?

Or would you require at least a 7% return?

Or maybe even a 10% annual return?

If you’re like most people we’ve surveyed, you wouldn’t do it unless you thought you could get at least a 7% annual return over time, right?

Here’s the Harsh Reality of the Actual Returns Investors Are Getting…

I hope you’re sitting down because this is going to floor you: According to a new study, the typical investor in equity mutual funds has gotten only a 3.88% annual return… over the last 20 years!

But it’s actually much worse than that. Here’s why…

Have you heard the phrase “nominal return“? That’s the rate of return on an investment without adjusting for inflation.

And inflation for the past 20 years covered by the study averaged 2.17% a year. So let’s do the math:

3.88% average annual return
-2.17% average annual inflation
=1.71% real average annual return

Oops!! A 1.71% real average annual return for the last 20 years?!?

The study did take into account the average fees and expenses you pay in these accounts.

But it did not account for the taxes you’re going to pay if you’ve been saving in a tax-deferred account like a 401(k), 403(b) or IRA. And that’s going to devour at least 25%-33% of your savings, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

That assumes tax rates don’t go up over the 20 to 30+ years of your retirement. (If you believe tax rates won’t be going up over the long term, I’ve got a Rolex watch I’ll sell you for $10.)

How did other types of investors fare over the last two decades?

Answer: Even worse than equity mutual fund investors did. Much worse!

The average investor in asset allocation mutual funds (which spread your money among a variety of classes) earned only 1.87% per year over the last two decades, but because inflation averaged 2.17% a year, they actually ended up losing 0.30% every year for 20 years.

But the biggest losers were investors in fixed-income funds. They only managed to eke out a 0.22% average annual return, significantly trailing inflation and digging themselves deeper and deeper into a hole every year.

This shocking data comes from the just-released 2019 Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior report by DALBAR, the leading independent, unbiased investment performance rating firm, and it covers the 20-year period ending December 31, 2018.

Once again, the study concluded that…

“The results consistently show that the average investor earns less – in many cases, much less – than mutual fund reports would suggest.”

If you’re scratching your head and thinking, “but I’m sure I did better than that,” the reality is that most investors don’t have a clue what return they’ve really gotten in their retirement accounts over time. The Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisors will have their clients get out all their annual statements and look at the numbers with them. They consistently find that people overestimate their returns by a large margin.

Wouldn’t the Classic Definition of Insanity be to Continue Doing What Clearly Hasn’t Worked for the Last Twenty Years?

If you wouldn’t be willing to put up with the stomach-churning unpredictability of the stock market for a 5% annual return over time, why would you accept a real annual return of less than 2% a year?

This is a HUGE part of the reason the typical household nearing retirement has an average of only $135,000 in their combined retirement accounts, which will provide only a $600 per month income, according to the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances.

That survey also showed that most households have little or nothing outside of the money in their retirement and investment accounts, which puts their entire life’s savings at risk in a market crash.

Wall Street’s BIG Lie is that You Must Risk Your Money in Order to Grow It

The Bank On Yourself safe wealth-building strategy puts that lie to rest. It’s a supercharged variation of an asset that’s grown in value every single year for more than 160 years, including during the Great Recession and Great Depression. It comes with an unbeatable combination of advantages, including:

If you’d like to see how adding the Bank On Yourself strategy to your financial plan could help you reach your financial goals without taking any unnecessary risks, just request your free Analysis here now.

There’s no cost or obligation, and you’ll get a referral to a Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisor who can answer any questions you may still have.

Keep in mind that the only regret most people say they have about implementing the Bank On Yourself strategy is that they didn’t start sooner and didn’t put more into their plan.

So don’t put it off another day – request your free Analysis NOW, while you’re thinking of it:

Read Reviews for Using Bank On Yourself as an Investment Alternative

When the stock market is going up, investors love it. When it’s going down, not so much.

Many investors lie awake at night wondering, “Is there any good alternative to this crazy roller coaster? Is it possible to successfully and confidently grow my nest egg without playing in the Wall Street Casino?”

If you’re one of those folks who thinks saving for retirement shouldn’t have to be so unpredictable, read on! There is a safe and proven alternative to Wall Street. It offers guaranteed growth, a predictable income stream, tax advantages, and very little in the way of government interference.

Millions have found their investment alternative of choice in high cash value dividend-paying whole life insurance.

Huh? Life Insurance as an Investment Alternative to Wall Street?

[Read more…] “Read Reviews for Using Bank On Yourself as an Investment Alternative”

Stock Market Declines Linked to Early Death, Illness and Fatal Accidents, Studies Show

If you have even 10% of your wealth in the stock market and experience only a 10% loss, your risk of dying early, or having a physical health problem like high blood pressure or a mental health problem such as depression, increases significantly.

That’s according to a recent study published in the American Economic Journal. These losses are known as “wealth shocks,” which the study found “strongly affect physical health, mental health, and survival rates.”

Among every 100 retirees with money in the market suffering a 10% wealth shock, one additional person will die within the next two years, and 2.5 more will develop health problems.

The study didn’t examine the impact of a bigger drop than 10%, but it’s easy to imagine it would be worse.

It’s not rocket science to realize there is a close connection between your health and your wealth.

It’s not just the risk of early death and sickness you need to worry about…

The anxiety, anger, and frustration you feel caused by negative stock market returns also “makes investors more prone to driving errors and lapses.” [Read more…] “Stock Market Declines Linked to Early Death, Illness and Fatal Accidents, Studies Show”

Record-High Credit Card Debt Promises Problems for Many

According to the Federal Reserve, credit card debt in the U.S. is at its highest level ever. In December 2018, credit card debt was $26 billion higher than it was just three months earlier.

Americans over age 60 hold nearly one-third of all credit card debt in the country – and they’re seeing their accounts go delinquent at an increasing pace.

We’re not surprised. Eighteen months ago, we at Bank On Yourself bemoaned the fact that household debt at the end of 2017 was at a then all-time high of more than $13 trillion. Now credit card debt is poised to overtake auto debt as one of the “big three” consumer debt millstones (after mortgages and student loans).

Carrying significant credit card debt can cause serious problems

Living with a large balance on your card(s) can be like trying to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope: You hope and pray nothing goes wrong.

What could go wrong while your cards are maxed out? [Read more…] “Record-High Credit Card Debt Promises Problems for Many”

How Complex Is Dividend-Paying Whole Life Insurance?

Some financial advisors say whole life insurance is complicated, and that “you should never invest in something you don’t understand.” … Then they try to sell you stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and EFTs that most laypeople can only begin to truly grasp!

Dividend-paying whole life insurance is so simple an average 10-year-old can understand the concept in 10 minutes. We’ll prove it to you now …

The Simplicity of Dividend-Paying Whole Life Insurance

The concept behind a dividend-paying whole life insurance policy is extremely simple. It’s based on five easy-to-understand ideas:

1. Your Risk Is Minimized by the “Pooled Risk” Approach of Insurance

This timeless concept is at the foundation of all forms of insurance. In its simplest form, policy owners pay an insurance company a relatively small sum of money in advance. This is called a “premium.” In exchange, they are covered for a potentially much large expense later. In this case, they receive an agreed-upon amount to cover the costs and loss of income related to the death of the insured, which is called the “death benefit.”

2. You’re Guaranteed to Have “Level-for-Life” Premiums with a Whole Life Insurance Policy

[Read more…] “How Complex Is Dividend-Paying Whole Life Insurance?”

Get Financially Naked With Your Partner to Avoid Relationship Mistakes

Do you remember the first time you got naked with your beloved?

Along with the passion of the moment, if you’re like most of us, you were probably a bit self-conscious. After all, for the first time, you may have had had to reveal that paunch you’d been hiding, those patches of cellulite or that outie belly button you’ve hated since the third grade.

But because you overcame those concerns and let yourself get naked – well, I don’t need to remind you what happened next!

The point is, when you allow yourself to get financially naked with your partner, amazing things can happen. You not only have a better understanding of one another, but you’ll also work better as a team to achieve your goals and tackle your problems.

It turns out that being clear and open with each other about financial issues is one of the most positive things you can do to ensure a “happily ever after.”

Couples May Argue About Sex, Kids and In-Laws, but It’s Their Arguments About Money that Best Predict Whether or Not They’re Headed for Divorce Court…

[Read more…] “Get Financially Naked With Your Partner to Avoid Relationship Mistakes”

The Most Important Lesson Learned from the Government Shutdown: Americans’ Finances are Fragile

The longest U.S. government shutdown in history laid bare an uncomfortable truth: Americans aren’t saving enough and the majority of us have no rainy-day fund to protect us when the inevitable you-know-what hits the fan.

More than 70% (!) of all types of employees at all income levels surveyed live paycheck to paycheck and said they’d have difficulty meeting their financial obligations if their paycheck were delayed for just one week! That’s according to the 2018 “Getting Paid in America” Survey by the American Payroll Association.

This explains why, after missing just one or two paychecks, we heard so many heart-breaking stories from government workers who weren’t being paid or were furloughed. For example… [Read more…] “The Most Important Lesson Learned from the Government Shutdown: Americans’ Finances are Fragile”

How Much Money Do You Need to Save for Retirement?

People need to save between 10% and 17% of their income if they plan to retire at 65 but are putting away only 6-8% of their income, according to a new study by the Stanford Center on Longevity. That’s only half of what they should be saving.

What percent of your household income are you saving? It’s important to be brutally honest with yourself because a shortfall of the magnitude most Americans will experience means more than just not being able to live the retirement lifestyle you dreamed of. It may mean…

  • Having to choose between putting food on the table and the medical care you need
  • Not being able to afford to pay for heating and air conditioning
  • Having to rely on the charity of your children
  • Foregoing travel and even life’s little luxuries

I doubt you worked hard all your life so that you can scrimp and sacrifice just to get by in retirement.

Fully 60% of U.S. households are at risk of not having enough money to make ends meet in retirementeven if they cut back to spending just 75% of pre-retirement levels – according to a 2018 study from the Center for Retirement Research.

The Rule of 25 for Determining How Much You’ll Need to Have Saved

[Read more…] “How Much Money Do You Need to Save for Retirement?”

Reviews for Saving for College Using the Bank On Yourself Method

When you think about saving for your children’s college tuition, what savings vehicle comes to mind?

Families often use traditional investment and savings accounts, 529 College Savings Plans, UGMAs (Uniform Gift to Minors Accounts), and UTMAs (Uniform Transfers to Minors Act).

But there’s a big problem there. Who’s going to guarantee you won’t lose your money – and your kid’s chance for a great education – in a stock market crash?

Nobody.

Absolutely nobody. Not your broker, certainly. (Try asking him if he’ll guarantee your stock market investment. Get ready to be laughed at.)

Not Uncle Sam. And not the college. Nobody’s going to guarantee that your money in the market will grow. And nobody’s going to guarantee you won’t lose it in the next market crash.

And that’s the thing. This is your kid’s future you’re gambling with, for Pete’s sake. This is money you can’t afford to lose!

And if you can’t afford to lose it, you can’t afford to risk it. Because “Risk = possibility of loss.”

If you can’t afford to lose it, you can’t afford to risk it.”

That’s why the Bank On Yourself strategy for saving for college is becoming more and more popular. [Read more…] “Reviews for Saving for College Using the Bank On Yourself Method”

Take Our Survey and Tell Us Where You Think the Stock Market is Headed

2018 was a wild ride on Wall Street, with volatility so violent it made daily swings of 500 or more points on the Dow seem almost “normal.”

We experienced several record-setting point swings on the Dow and came within a hair of entering a bear market, where securities fall 20% or more from recent highs.

But there’s a big difference between a bear market decline of 20% and a major market crash, like the one we had during the 2007-2009 financial crisis, which knocked the S&P 500 down by 57%.

And when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, the S&P 500 plummeted by nearly 50%.

And since this time around we haven’t yet entered a bear market (by the most common definitions), that means we are (still) in the longest-running bull market in history.

In two months, this bull market will hit its tenth birthday – something that’s never happened before. [Read more…] “Take Our Survey and Tell Us Where You Think the Stock Market is Headed”