The S&P was higher in December 1999

The S&P was higher in December 1999 than in early December 2012. Take a look at this chart – the blue line traces back to December 1999 and is higher than the close on the first day of trading in December 2012. A negative return in exchange for taking huge market risk, for more than a decade, is a retirement disaster, but the reality is worse than it appears. For those investors who bought a mutual fund, the average return doesn’t keep pace with the S&P. Most mutual funds don’t keep pace with the benchmark index. And the news gets worse;  Investopedia says “The average equity mutual fund charges around 1.3%-1.5%”. So, even if your fund kept pace with the S&P, the fees likely ate up any profit. The math is simple: even at only 1% per year, an investor in a mutual fund for the past 12 years gave up 12% profit. Take a look at the chart above. Today’s close on the S&P 500 was 1409. If we subtract 12%, that takes us down to 1240 (the red line). That’s the same place the market was as it set up to crash prior to September 11th and the massive correction in 2008. I’m sorry to say the results are even more harmful. Inflation is destroying the purchase power of that idle money. In 1999 gas sold for $1.14; today, at $3.25, it costs $65 to add 20 gallons to your gas tank versus just $23 in 1999. The real inflation rate, one that includes food and fuel, has exceeded 10% for both 2011 and 2012. Just in the past two years your money buys 20% less. So, the bottom line is you have to either save more or make more. Saving more might be impossible but our newsletter and investor training program is guaranteed to make money if you follow three simple rules (see our agreement: Trent Cline is only 20 years old. He’s not even old enough to buy beer, but he made 165% this year using our investing model. Maybe you could prosper, too. Take a look at his video testimonial