WSJ: 1/6 to 1/2 of investment returns are lost to fees & commissions

Minimizing the “Skim” – the Key to Retiring Early {{ LOL }}



But not for most investors; they are talking about private asset investing.

“Today, with fees on index funds and exchange-traded funds shrinking toward zero, Wall Street can no long thrive by selling funds that invest in public stocks and bonds. No wonder it’s pile-driving retail investors into private assets, formerly the exclusive province of ultra wealthy individuals and institutions.”


1 Like

Yeah but those are investors.

Only about 20% of US retirement assets are in low-fee index funds. The other 80% are still getting hosed. It’s the big reason so many people can’t retire.

Dump your financial advisor and double your retirement income.



Most people even here do not know enough to do that.

It goes to more than just knowing what is what. The feel for how to invest is hard for most people.

That may be true, but it is not what the article is about.



If I’m invested in individual stocks, how am I “getting hosed”?


“Only about 20% of US retirement assets are in low-fee index funds. The other 80% are still getting hosed. It’s the big reason so many people can’t retire.”

And it is so darn easy to do nowadays.

Recently had a conversation with a friend who was talking about the great relationship he has with his financial advisor. I asked what specifically he likes about the service he’s providing to him. He said he’s a great family guy, and he trusts him. I responded that it’s nice that he’s an affable family guy, but that is not a service that he’s providing.

He basically responded that he has a once a year financial meeting ( face to face ) with his guy, and they go over his investments. I asked how much is that costing him, and he couldn’t even tell me a percentage.

I’ve told him about the Boglehead plan before, so I just let the conversation move to a different topic, I’m not going to beat my head against the wall for him, lol.


About 95% of the people who try to buy individual stocks underperform the S&P 500. Maybe you’re in the 5% that beat the S&P 500, but it’s a big risk. If I can buy an S&P 500 index fund today with an expense ratio of 0.015% (i.e., $150/yr on a $1 MM account), there’s no reason to take the 19 in 20 chance that you’ll underperform.


This is NOT being hosed! Being hosed implies being scammed or cheated or underhanded dealings. You are simply now saying they make bad investment decisions; which is not the same thing as being hosed.

I have individual investments and mutual funds and have done okay and will be okay through age 100. I have made good and bad decisions with stocks and with funds. I take offense that you think I’ve been hosed!



Take offense if you like. But if I can buy an index fund and capture the virtually “skim-free” return of the S&P 500, any strategy that has me working harder for a lower expected return is the very definition of getting hosed.

Think of it this way.

If I told you you could go to engineering school, never attend a class, or crack a book, and still get a lifetime compensation greater than or equal to 95% of your classmates, would you take that bet?