How stock pickers fiddle investment returns

The issue of whether to pay for stock picking advice boils down to two simple questions: First, does the company have a good track record in making money and second, can I believe their track record? The answer to the first question, which is usually ‘yes’, is far less important than the second. Why? Because there are many ways to make performance figures look good, and many investors don’t have a clue what they are. Intelligent Investor Share Advisor has been around for 16 years and we’ve seen all the tricks from come-and-go newsletter publishers to black box stock pickers....

The issue of whether to pay for stock picking advice boils down to two simple questions: First, does the company have a good track record in making money and second, can I believe their track record?

The answer to the first question, which is usually ‘yes’, is far less important than the second.

Why? Because there are many ways to make performance figures look good, and many investors don’t have a clue what they are.

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