The above picture was taken from my iPhone while using Vanguard’s mobile app. If you use Vanguard, I highly recommend downloading their iPhone app, as its a one of the most sleek and intuitive portfolio management apps out there. (Plus it’s free!)
So after three years of randomly picking funds, receiving poor financial advice, investing in the latest hot security, and thinking I could time the market, my overall return for all that effort is basically sitting at zero.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bummed about my returns just yet; I’ve still got a long way to go before I’d need to cash out. But I’ve definitely learned a great deal about investing since I first got my 401(K) in 2006:
- I need to stop trying to time the market. I’m better suited going to Vegas if I have a gambling addiction.
- I need to stop picking random funds. Expense ratios are the only important measure and Vanguard is the way to go.
- Investing wisdom is defined by how much financial information you choose to ignore, not by how much you financial information you actually have.
- Stocks and funds that did well recently are generally overpriced.
- Most financial advisors are intent on ripping you off. (See Jim Cramer and Ben Stein)