Expert Advice

Why Is It So Hard To Beat the Stock Market?

Jay Vivian, former managing director of the IBM Retirement Funds, on why so few are able to beat the stock market.

Jay Vivian: It’s really hard to beat the market because there’s so many smart people out there trying to beat it with you. And maybe if you have more resources than they do. Maybe if you have smarter people than they do. Maybe if you have more time than they do. But I think the chances on all three of those are pretty low, the chances that you can do all three of those things better than the people on Wall Street.

And even the people on Wall Street, the data shows, the majority of them consistently underperform the markets. So even if you could do those three things, even if you could get more resources and more time and more knowledge and more expertise and more smart people and more, you know, Russian rocket scientists or whatever it takes to do it, even then you certainly don’t have a guarantee that you’re going to beat the market.

So it’s really hard to do. It’s really hard to access all the resources that you need to do it and, in the end, it’s really expensive to do it. So not only can you save the cost, but you can save the effort. And in the end you’re likely to be better off.