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Author: Hawkwin Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 25316  
Subject: Re: Benefit of 401(k)s? Date: 5/4/2007 3:52 PM
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my time at the Motley Fool I have been taught that I can beat the returns of the market and most mutual funds if I work at it (which I am).

This is likely the most dangerous statement yet.

Motley Fool SELLS advice just like any other financial service company, just like any broker sells stock, any agent sells a fund. They have a vested interest in making you believe you can do it better if you do it yourself.

That being said, some will (and you might). Most won't. It takes a considerable amount of time and energy to "beat the market" and unless you are willing to invest that time and energy, you are much more likely to fall below "the market" - whatever that means in this example.

Now some (like this site) will encourage you to pay someone else to do the research for you and then you follow that advice - in the end, you are still paying someone to make the decisions for you.

Again, most people do not consistently beat the market. We all strive to do so but your statement about how in your recent time at MF, you think you have the skills to stop adding to, what I assume is a diversified 401K, in order to start doing your own stock picking scares me as much (from a financial sense) as someeone saying that they want to start doing surgery after two years of premed.

I work in the financial industry selling advice and investments and even I don't feel comfortable enough with my own knowledge of the individual stock market, as well as having the time that is necessary to invest my 401k savings in individual stock. I do some stock picking in my Roth but not in the account in which I depend on my retirement savings.

Best of luck to you in your decision - but I would not be so quick to change from your 401k funds to individual stock. Maybe try it for a few years (through a bull and bear market) and see how you stack up. Unfortunately, my opinion has been tempered by the dozens of people I have met in my line of work that thought they could do the same in the late 90's by simply buying a large cap growth fund. Many are still negative almost a decade later.
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