$FORMER_UBERBOSS just walked by, he noticed I was reading Patrick O'Brian and started gushing on about it. $UBERBOSS is pretty awesome. He was wearing a peak lapel suit.
Hucksters: one guy was making some great points about personal finance and stuff. He was basically selling a subscription to an online service that provides access to loads of great information on stocks and bonds. It really was a very good service. And he'd educate you on how to use it. Downside: it's $30/month. That's very reasonable, but a lot of the people he was selling it to don't have too much they can invest in the market. He was decrying how mutual fund managers don't outperform the market, but still net about 1% in fees. This is quite true. But at $360 per year, you'd need to have more than $30,000 to play with. A 30-year-old with 25% in bonds (that's a reasonable position) needs a retirement nest egg of $40,000 outside his 401(k) to have $30,000 to play with. This is very fair, a lot of people will have that and a lot of people should have that (well, right now almost all of my retirement stuff is in the 401(k), though I really should be putting more in the Roth IRA than I do). Great. But I doubt a lot of the people he's selling to will have that and that they will have the faculties to do the math. If you have $5000 or $10,000 to fiddle with, are you going to know that you're spending 4-8% of your annual return to subscribe to this service? 1% to a fund manager who doesn't beat the market doesn't sound so bad unless you really think you'll consistently beat the market by 4%. And any sort of relatively frequent trading requires high volume or the transaction fees will eat you up.
Blah blah blah. Work work work.
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