The truth about investing in mutual funds

Investors earn returns over time that are far lower than those quoted by mutual fund firms.  In fact, it’s not even a close race.”

This is the conclusion of DALBAR, Inc., the well-respected independent investment research firm.1

For the past 20 years, “the average equity investor barely managed to eke out an annualized return that outpaced inflation.”  The average return was 3.49% per year – just slightly more than the inflation rate for that period!

Asset allocation and fixed income investors weren’t so lucky (if you can call that “luck”); they lost ground after adjusting for inflation.

Why most investors don’t come close to getting the returns touted in mutual fund prospectuses…

There are plenty of reasons for this.  For starters…

Investor Trap #1:  “Investors are impatient and irrational,” and “consistently make buy and sell decisions at the worst possible moments,” according to DALBAR, a finding backed up by many experts in the emerging field of behavioral finance.

Investor Trap #2:  You could get a 25% “average annual return” for years and still not make a single dime or even lose money!

This is due to the smoke and mirrors the Wall Street illusionists have been using to pull the wool over your eyes for decades.  Don’t take my word for it – I exposed the mutual fund “rate of return” myth” here.

Investor Trap #3:  If you’re investing in mutual funds inside a 401(k) plan, fees can “eat up to half your income over a 30-year span,” according to an exposé on 60 Minutes.

In addition, most people aren’t aware that employers are making risky decisions on how to invest your money in your 401(k) for you without your knowledge or approval!  And they are automatically moving your money into higher-fee funds, too.

This is all courtesy of the Pension Protection Act of 2006.  Makes you wonder who they’re trying to protect!

Knowledge is power, so I urge you to learn what the government and your employer aren’t telling you about your 401(k).

Investor Trap #4:  Taxes, taxes and more taxes!

Nothing I’ve talked about so far takes into account the wealth-destroying effect of taxes.

If you’re like most Americans, much of your savings is in tax-deferred accounts, like 401(k)’s.  Paying taxes later is one of the big appeals of these plans.

But what direction do you think tax rates will go over the long term?  If, like most people, you think taxes are going to go up, and you’re successful in growing a nest-egg, you’re only going to pay higher taxes on a larger number!

The bottom line is that most people’s financial future rests on a game whose rules they do not understand and have no control over.  No wonder most Americans have no confidence they’ll be able to reach their financial goals and dreams.

Which is why Bank On Yourself should be a part of almost everyone’s financial foundation.

It gives you guaranteed growth in both good times and bad, as well as predictability and control.

A Bank On Yourself policy goes in only one direction:  UP.  Both your principal and gains are locked in.  It gives you peace of mine for retirement planning, because you can know how much income you could take every year in retirement (guaranteed), and for how long you’ll be able to take it.

You can take that income without tax consequences, if you do it right, under current tax law.

You can also use your cash value in the policy to inject needed capital into a business or to help you get through tough times.  To learn more about the many different ways people use Bank On Yourself, check out Chapters 6-12 of my best-selling book.

If you haven’t already added Bank On Yourself to your financial plan, why not find out today what your bottom-line numbers and results could be if you did?  Whatever your long-term or short-term financial goals and dreams are, you may be surprised to find out how many of them Bank On Yourself can help you achieve.

There’s no cost or obligation to receive an Analysis that will show you how a program custom tailored to your unique situation could improve your financial picture and help you turn your back on the stomach-churning twists and turns of traditional investments.

If you haven’t already started to Bank On Yourself, please take the first step today and take back control of your financial future!

1. DALBAR 2012 Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior


  1. Dear Pamela,

    What effect will the coming rise in inflation have on mu bank on yourself growth?

    Thank you

  2. How is your principal and gains locked in the BOY account if you still have cost of insurance?

    • We’re not talking about costs, we’re talking about safety. When you invest in stocks and mutual funds, for example, you have costs PLUS the possibility of losing some or all of your principal and some or all of your gains.

  3. You gave great points here. I did some research on this subject and have found nearly all people agree with your website.

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