U.S. News & World Report - To err is human, but when it comes to investing, mistakes can be costly. A third of everyday investors had zero or negative returns in 2014, according to an analysis of the portfolios of more than a quarter million investors by investment firm SigFig. In a year that saw the Standard & Poor’s 500 index surge 13.6 percent, the median investor’s portfolio rose just 4.2 percent.
Ironically, many investors make mistakes because they're trying to beat the market, and more importantly, because they think they can, says Harold Evensky, chairman of Evensky & Katz wealth management firm and professor of practice at Texas Tech University.
At speaking engagements or lectures, Evensky often asks his audience to raise hands if they think their children or grandchildren are better than average. Typically, everyone does. "Statistically, that can't be," Evensky says. "But it's classic behavior. People don't like the idea of being average."