Fact Highlight

  • In 1950, 97% of public equities were directly owned by individual investors. Today, 75% of public equities are owned by institutional investors (i.e. mutual funds, pension funds, etc.). Source

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  • Money management companies hold $37 trillion of investors’ money – representing more than half of the total financial assets of U.S. households. Source

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  • There are about 450K people in the United States offering financial guidance to consumers. Roughly 90% of them are salespeople and 10% are registered investment advisers who adhere to the fiduciary standard (requiring them to act in investors’ best interests). Source

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  • Roughly 92 million Americans—more than one in three adults in the United States—invest in mutual funds. As of September 2014, the industry collectively controlled more than $15 trillion. Source

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  • More than 60 percent of total 401(k) assets are held in mutual funds. IRA owners are more likely to hold mutual funds in their portfolios than any other type of investment. Source

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  • The average mutual fund investor’s return was about 40 percent lower than the stock market’s overall return from 1983 to 2011. Yet research shows that roughly 80 percent of shareholders are confident in their mutual funds’ ability to help them achieve their financial goals.

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  • Median household income in the United States was lower in 2013 than it was in 1999. Source

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  • Median compensation for CEOs of S&P 500 companies in 2014 was $10.5 million. Source

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  • Dodd-Frank officially granted US shareholders the opportunity to hold an advisory vote on executive pay packages in 2012. To date 1,750 Russell 3000 companies have held their Say on Pay votes and 93% have passed with above 70% support. Source

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  • In 2015, financial services employees make 3.6 times as much pay as the average worker. Source

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  • The White House Council of Economic Advisers estimates that financial advice skewed by conflicts of interests cost investors $17 billion each year. Source

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  • According to the Department of Labor, a 1 percent difference in fees and expenses can reduce an account balance by up to 28 percent over thirty-five years (assuming an average return of 7 percent). On a $25,000 investment, it’s a forfeiture of $64,000. Source

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Bobby Monks is blowing the whistle on Wall Street, giving middle class Americans the low down on how they’re being fleeced of their retirement money—and what they can do about it.

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HELAINE OLEN

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“If you want to know why Wall Street always seems to make out, even as your investments never seem to do as well as advertised, you should read Uninvested. It’s a revelatory piece of work.”

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