The REAL Reason Your Mutual Fund Can’t Beat the S&P 500
The REAL Reason Your Mutual Fund Can’t Beat the S&P 500 by Greg Guenthner
Sorry, you’re probably not going to beat the S&P 500 this year.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Only one in five U.S. stock funds have beat their benchmarks in the last five years, according to data from Morningstar.
When it comes to investing, pretty much nobody beats the averages. That’s the takeaway that the latest and greatest academic finance research tells us, and it’s obvious from looking at the real-world performance data too.
“According to the numbers compiled annually by performance analytics firm Dalbar, the average stock mutual fund investor has seen average annualized returns of 4.67% over the last 20 years – just investing in the S&P 500 would have paid you 8.19% a year, on average,” our stat guy Jonas Elmerraji says. “That’s some pretty awful underperformance.”
You’d be justified in wondering if there’s a point to trying to beat the S&P anyway. Why not just buy an S&P 500 index fund and hold it forever?
More importantly, why’s it so damn hard to beat the S&P 500 in the first place?
As I’ll show you in a moment, everyone’s favorite stock market index is rigged against individual investors. But if you make one simple change to the way you approach the markets, you can stack the deck back in your favor.
Back to Jonas and some key facts about the S&P…
To figure out why the S&P 500 is so hard to beat, we’ve got to take a look at what it really is in the first place, Jonas explains. For starters, the S&P 500 gets a few advantages you won’t get in the real-world. For instance, the S&P 500 doesn’t incur any trading fees. It doesn’t factor in any commissions. And it’s fully invested 100% of the time.
That’s obviously pretty hard to compete with, but it’s actually only a tiny part of the total picture