Project Veritas recently went undercover… infiltrating CNN… and discovered the whole Trump-Russia thing was fabricated because ratings.
In other words… fake news.
Anyway, reminds me of the fake news problem we got floating around the financial planning industry.
Here’s what I mean:
I recently came across a well-known financial blogger bragging about his investment earnings…
Well-known meaning he gets several hundred thousand visits every month…
Anyway, he spends a lot of time bragging about his investment prowess.
9.75%, per year, you say?
That’s pretty good.
Fortunately, the little shytweasel posted his annual contributions and ending account balances online on his blog for the whole world to see.
So… yours gluteny ran these numbers through my reverse-engineer rate of returnorator (that’s a technical term, no need to remember it).
… and discovered he was only making about 7.09%.
In other words, in order to get to his current ending account balance… his money grew at 7.09%… not 9.75%.
Why does this matter?
It doesn’t, really.
Unless his readers are the type that shoot off at the mouth in public forums… show people how “easy peasy” it is… and rookies go plug 9.75% into a savings calculator to dream about their retirement ritchezzzz… thinking “oh, if this dood online can do it, I can too lol”.
Anywho… after taxes, the return for this blogger was less than 5%.
Not very impressive for the amount of risk he was taking (cheap, small cap, index funds… consumer loans… commodities… and a plethora of other niched-down index funds)
And yet… I see this kind of reporting again and again. Investment advisors do the EXACT same thing, too.
They report earnings rates to their clients that are higher than what their clients are actually making (which you can figure out with some clever reverse-engineering).
Then “bake” these fake numbers into template-driven retirement plans… sell them to their clients.
Why do they do this?
What I do know is… what they typically report is something called “time-weighted returns” instead of “dollar weighted returns” (what the investor actually gets).
Time-weighted returns do not take into account cash inflows and outflows and so they’re usually higher than investor returns. It’s a way to measure the skill of the advisor, but not the results of the investor.
Always look at your performance numbers from your own perspective, not anyone else’s.
This is what I (covertly) teach my clients by always showing them their dollar-weighted return (called “internal rate of return” or IRR or net CAGR).
Speaking of which, if you want no-B.S. stable returns on your savings… and something that’ll always be there for you when you need it, then do yourself a favor and hop onto my email list.
I show you what works, what doesn’t… and why.