If you're among the 17 million investors using accounts at the popular online brokers Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and E-trade, you are collectively throwing away over $1.8 billion a year in unnecessary fees, according to a recent NerdWallet study.
It would be difficult to find an industry as ethically bankrupt as those involved in "managing" your investments. The harm these "advisers" have done to the retirement aspirations of hardworking Americans is incalculable.
I often wonder why so many investors ignore the overwhelming data indicating that capturing market returns in a globally diversified portfolio of low management fee index funds in a suitable asset allocation is likely to outperform stock picking, manager picking and market timing.
I am often accused by brokers of being too hard on them. They say I cherry pick bad portfolios and there are many "hard working, honest brokers" who do the right thing for their clients. I used to believe it. I no longer do.
Don't rely on predictions by anyone about the direction of the markets or what to buy or sell in 2011. No one can predict random events. If your broker couldn't call the worst crash in 50 years, why do you believe his predictive skills have improved?