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Are You as Stupid as Your Financial Adviser Thinks?

We underperform the very mutual funds we invest in by some four percentage points a year, according to one reckoning. But what’s the math behind that, and do we really need the pros?
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Investors need to be saved from themselves.

That’s the conventional wisdom, and there’s some truth to it. Individual investors can have comically bad timing. They buy when stock prices are high. They panic and sell when markets plunge. They invest with the hot mutual fund managers just as the managers' luck runs out.