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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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‘Seizing control’ isn’t the answer

THE START of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament last weekend brought lots of buzzer beaters, badly picked brackets and annoying commercials about the stock market.

I won’t name names, but anybody who spent even an hour or two watching college hoops last weekend will know what I mean.

For the record, I’m not talking about the hilarious commercials featuring the baby talking about stocks. Those are on the mark and extremely clever.

I’m referring to the commercials in which the burned investors–whether cartoons or real people–talk about how their retirement investments were floundering until they seized control of them by switching to XXX brokerage firm.

Frankly, that just doesn’t make sense. If I owned 100 shares of AIG, those shares are going to have performed just as poorly regardless of which brokerage account they’re sitting in.

Click here for this week’s full Business Browser column.


  • lgross

    Well.. what they are saying is that there are
    plans in which you have no control on how they
    invest and then there are plans where you do
    have some say so – like some IRAs and funds
    that you are setting aside and in charge of.

    You could put these funds in a Mutual fund and
    let them decide the portfolio or you could do your
    own portfolio.

    so what they are advertising is that for the funds
    that you have direct control over (which may not
    be your company retirement fund) a
    separate IRA or other set aside funds that you
    can designate someone to invest it per their
    choices or you could do it yourself by directly
    buying and selling the specific funds that you

    The conventional wisdom has been that other
    “professionals” are better at this than you. not