So says Dalbar, Inc., the nation’s leading financial services market research firm.

Can you afford to act like the average investor? Before you say yes, check out the latest statistics on investor behavior; the average stock mutual fund return over the last 17 years (1/1/1993-12/31/09) was a not-so-bad 8.8%. However, that’s NOT what the average investor got. The average investor returned a pitiful 3.2% on average over the same time period. WHY you must ask: Bad behavior—-buying and selling at the wrong times.

Investor’s worst enemy is not the market going down—its themselves and this Dalbar study proves just that. If you invested $10,000 in January, 1993 and chose to DIY (do it yourself), hence making you the average investor, your “bad behavior” cost you a staggering $24,863—you ended up with a little over $17,000 when you could’ve earned close to $42,000.

What the investor’s “time-out” or best way to not end up average? Remove the emotion—the irrational behavior. HOW? Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Hire an advisor (period). Can’t afford one? Well it’ll either cost you another $24,863 or a couple hundred dollars a year—it your choice. Go to www. and remove the emotion today. You’re not average, and neither are we.