How much do you know?

Legal Disclosure: Tony Robbins is the Chief of Investor Psychology at Creative Planning, Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) with wealth managers serving all 50 states. Mr. Robbins receives compensation for serving in this capacity based on increased business derived by Creative Planning from his services. Accordingly, Mr. Robbins has a financial incentive to refer investors to Creative Planning.

If you’re reading this, it means you’ve decided to become an insider and learn the critical rules of the game, so you never fall prey to those people in the investment jungle looking to part you and your money.

To get on an even playing field, it is important to know the rules before you get in the game. Let’s bust these myths so you can better protect yourself.

MYTH #1: An actively managed mutual fund will help you beat the market.

An incredible 96% of actively managed mutual funds fail to beat the market over any sustained period of time.

MYTH #2: Your mutual fund fees are just a small price to pay.

I know it sounds crazy, but the 1% fee that you think is the total cost you’re paying is really only one of more than ten potential fees. With an average cost of owning a mutual fund of 3.17% per year, that fee might be eating up 60% of your potential returns over time!

MYTH #3: Our returns? What you see is what you get.

Surprise! The returns the mutual funds advertise are not the returns that you actually receive. While mutual funds advertise average rates of return, it’s the REAL rate of return that matters. Here’s an example for you. Let’s say that you have $100,000 that goes up 50%, down 50%, up 50%, and down 50% over 4 years. This produces an average return of 0%. But what is the REAL return that you would actually walk away with in cold hard cash at the end of the 4 years? A staggering $56,250. Don’t believe us? Check out the chart below:

MYTH #4: Your broker has your best interests at heart.

Brokers and other financial management professionals do not always have investors’ best interests at heart, and sometimes do not have the capability to serve investors’ needs. Other motivations and limiting factors – the drive for personal income, sales, to push certain products on behalf of an employer or to chase fees – divert priorities from donors’ best interests.

MYTH #5: Your 401(k) is the safest way to plan for retirement.

401(k) plans are not the safe retirement plans they seem to be – they can carry high fees, and the benefits of tax deferral of the standard 401(k) might not be worthwhile compared to a Roth option.

MYTH #6: A Target Date Fund is your sure plan to retirement.

Despite being the fastest-growing segment of the mutual fund industry, target-date funds (TDFs) may completely miss the mark. Though sometimes a good option compared to an investor picking his/her own asset allocation, TDFs are only as good as the fund manager picking the asset mix. They can also carry heavy fees that severely dilute gains over time.

MYTH #7: Big rewards require big risks.

Nothing could be further from the truth. If there is one common denominator of successful insiders, it’s that they don’t speculate with their hard-earned savings, they strategize. Look for opportunities that provide asymmetric risk/reward. This is a fancy way of saying that the reward is drastically disproportionate to the risk. Risk a little, make a lot.


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