! Editor's Note
Charles Rotblut, CFA is a vice president at AAII and editor of the AAII Journal. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CharlesRAAII.


Jan from IL posted over 5 years ago:

What a lot of work to put this together. Thank you very much!

The time value of money is an important aspect of understanding investments and investing, as are costs. To get a complete overview, perhaps it would have been a possibility to add an extra column or two with the "real rate of return". Or to teach people about the IRR or the Discounted Cash Flow method which takes the time value of money into consideration.

The results of the "best" mutual funds are disappointing.

I worked out the return on investment for one of the "best" mutual funds with the lowest expense ratio. For that, actual annual data were used (not averaged out), also taking into account inflation (CPI), opportunity cost, tax implications and costs mentioned on the the website of the mutual fund.
The 12 year moving average dropped to 1.86% (instead of 8.7%)

This is truly meant as a positive comment to ask you to motivate and teach people in depth about money so they will be able to make positive contributions to their own finances and to the finances of others.

Jan from IL posted over 5 years ago:

A very important point to mention is the investor behavior related to market-timing/sector rotation.

Various studies have shown for years that the “average mutual fund investor” does not make what the actual mutual funds make:

“the performance of the average investor in an asset class lags the average performance of the asset class itself by an average of 1.95 percent per year over the past fifteen years”

Morningstar (2010), Vanguard and others:
“over 10 years investors earn 1.5% less annually than the funds they invest in”

This means that the average investor over the last 12 years did not make any money at all.

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