Individual Investor Performance: Money in 60 Seconds

Question 1: Over the past 20 years, how have individual investors done? What kind of returns have they had?

Well, back up. We know that active managers tend to underperform the markets by about the amount of fees — mutual fund managers underperform by about the amount of fees. Over the past 20 years, individual investors have done even worse. So at a time when, according to Dalbar, the stock market has gone up annually 5.6, 5.8%, bonds have gone up annually 4.5%, individual investors — their money has gone up annually about 1.9%. So that doesn't even keep up with inflation, which is estimated to be 2.2%. Why is this? Because we sometimes are our worst enemies. I mean there are many reasons for it. But you over-trade, you tend to panic when times are tough, markets are bad, and you're trading in and out at the wrong time.

Question 2: My company doesn't report its gender pay gap, so it doesn't have one … right?

Uh, wrong. On average, if women are making 80 cents to a man's dollar — sometimes it's 78 cents, sometimes it's 82 cents — then on average, your company has a gender pay gap. And that can be even if it's great people who are there, because in a society in which men have been socialized to negotiate and women have been socialized not to, and bosses — who are just looking for the bottom line — if someone asks for the money they'll give it to them, and if they don't, they won't … you've got a gender pay gap. So if your company isn't reporting one, ask them to.


And go deeper on topics like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence at Microsoft on The Issues

Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.

Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

As we enter the homestretch of the US presidential election — which is set to be the most contentious, and possibly contested, in generations — Americans are also voting on 35 seats up for grabs in a battle for the control of the Senate. The 100-member body is currently held 53-47 by the Republican Party, but many individual races are wide open, and the Democrats are confident they can flip the upper chamber of Congress.

Either way, the result will have a profound impact not only on domestic policy, but also on US foreign relations and other issues with global reach. Here are a few areas where what US senators decide reverberates well beyond American shores.

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On September 23, GZERO Media — in partnership with Microsoft and Eurasia Group — gathered global experts to discuss global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in a livestream panel. Our panel for the discussion Crisis Response & Recovery: Reimagining while Rebuilding, included:

  • Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
  • Ian Bremmer, President and Founder, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media
  • Jeh Johnson, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP and former Secretary of Homeland Security.
  • John Frank, Vice President, UN Affairs at Microsoft
  • Susan Glasser, staff writer and Washington columnist, The New Yorker (moderator)

Special appearances by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde, and comedian/host Trevor Noah.

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Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, offers insights on the Supreme Court vacancy:

Will Senate Republicans, who stopped a Supreme Court nomination in 2016, because it was too close to an election, pay a political price for the change in tactics this time around?

Not only do I think they won't pay a political price, I think in many cases, they're going to benefit. Changing the balance of power on the Supreme Court has been a career-long quest for many conservatives and many Republicans. And that's why you've seen so many of them fall in line behind the President's nomination before we even know who it is.

At this point, do Senate Democrats have any hope of stopping President Trump from filling the ninth seat on the Supreme Court?

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In a special GZERO Media livestream on global response and recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media president Ian Bremmer discussed the difference between Europe's unified approach to economic stimulus and the deeply divided and political nature of the current conversation in the US. While initial stimulus support was bipartisan, there is little chance of Democrats and Republicans coming together again ahead of the November 3 presidential election. "It's red state versus blue state. President Trump's saying that coronavirus isn't so bad if you take the blue states out. He's president of the blue states, you can't take the blue states out," Bremmer told moderator Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.

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Panel: How will the world recover from COVID-19?

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