According to a recent comment on this blog, I’m full of it. Apparently, the author thinks I pulled the following statement out of my butt…
The reality is that the typical mutual fund investor has actually been losing 1 percent per year over the last 20 years, after adjusting for inflation.”
The statistic comes from the respected research firm, Dalbar, Inc., in its 15th annual study of mutual fund investor behavior. The study measures the returns investors actually get, not the returns they wished they got.
According to Lou Harvey, the president of Dalbar, the study once again revealed that
“investor returns lag what performance reports and prospectuses would lead one to believe is achievable. While those returns are theoretically achievable, the reality is that investors are not rational, and make buy and sell decisions at the worst possible moments.”
Let me paint a picture of how this happens: Lets say you do what the author (who calls himself “David K.”) of the rather nasty blog comment suggests and buy “simple index funds” and hold them for twenty years.