The Average Investor Needs Some Help: Ritholtz Chart

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg View columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He blogs at the Big Picture and is the author of “Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy.”
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Have a look at the chart above from JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s quarterly chart book (which I have been referencing for years).

Average annual returns for individuals over the past 20 years are 2.3 percent. That doesn't even keep up with inflation. REITs, commodities, equities and bonds all wildly outperform the average retail investor.

The bottom half of the graphic shows what happens when investors are left to their own devices: They engage in emotional decision-making (aka fear and greed) and performance chasing; they fail to have any form of risk management; they pay high fees and exhibit an almost willful lack of discipline.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

(Barry Ritholtz writes about finance, the economy and the business world for Bloomberg View. Follow him on Twitter @Ritholtz.)

To contact the author on this story:
Barry L Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.net