I would point out (to LOL! and maybe some of the other 10-percenters) that hellbender was talking about STOCK investors and not bank accounts and lottery tix.
what do you believe is actually achieved by the average stock investor
a cross section of equities investors including those who may from time to time engage in activities that are not in their best interests as well as those who have superior stock market investing skills.
Don't want to quibble, but that's an important distinction to make, and I wonder how much the votes would diverge if that had been super-clear=> equity investments...
Hellbender in one sense is being a little tendentious: stocks are even riskier than we think since most investors don't end up with their full value; and in another sense is preaching to the converted: indexes and ETFs avoid high fees and 'churn' and give you as close to a real market return as is possible -- let's say the 93%-98% figger -- without having to do risky stock-picking.. a maxim already taken to heart here. (Which doesn't mean either that he is incorrect or that the poll is worthless.)
Education is important!! But I take this scenario as a challenge.. instead of thinking "oh, the average investor doesn't do as well as advertised in the equity market.. run away!", I think (as I believe many here do) "Let me avoid the reasons that the average investor does poorly in equities, so that I may be above
average." (Lake Wobegon, here I come*
)* But, no matter, I should be happy if people run away -- more buying opportunites for me!
I think everyone here is trying to get the message out about preparing adequately for retirement. I don't know what we can do about the "millions.. too stupid". At the risk of being too Darwinian I would say they will get by on SS and those who have invested well will be that much better off in comparison and will feel richer, even in the eventuality of bearing some of the burden for the first group. If everyone, OTOH, were investing efficiently then our gains might be more limited (?).. I see it as a question of paying now or paying later and am not that concerned about it.
brewer is right.. "kids today" would probably need to be super-savvy to invest in RE at this point.. not hard to conceive they might be better off in equities. I came across some articles on the RE market in the early '90s just coincidentally. That's when I happened to have bought my first house: a 2-family in Boston for $135k. I sold it 2 years ago for $630k after putting in about $100k of work over 10 years. I bought it from a bank that had foreclosed. I was completely oblivious to the RE market at the time: I just thought it would be keen to buy a house and here was this one right down the block; I walked past the "For Sale" sign every day for weeks and weeks on my way to the bus stop. But for me to have "lucked out" meant a painful episode indeed for foreclosure guy.. who knows if he has recovered financially, or if he thinks RE is a good investment? There are ups and downs in everything.
brewer: is that "money brain" or "monkey brain"!
eek eeek eek (scratch scratch)