Filed under: Investing
The Motley Fool
You'll never have the chance to lose a whole $200 billion, but the odds are fairly good that, over the past several years, you lost your personal share of $200 billion in potential investment gains.
In fact, most people lose quite a lot of money over their lifetimes -- much of it needlessly -- thanks to a host of avoidable blunders in how they manage their financial lives.
To get back to that $200 billion figure, for example, a recent Bloomberg article claimed that overall, Americans lost out on about that much by pulling money out of the stock market after being the financial crisis that began in 2008. The article offered some alarming statistics, such as:
- "The percentage of households owning stock mutual funds has also fallen, dropping every year since 2008 to 46.4 percent in 2011, the second-lowest since 1997, according to the latest ICI annual mutual fund survey."
- During the market's rally since 2008, the percentage of retirement money invested in stocks fell half a percent, when it typically rises significantly during rallies.