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Paul was planning a traditional "Happy Holidays!" podcast but woke up to information that set his hair on fire. While he has been writing articles about index funds for decades, the most read is “30 reasons to fall in love with index funds”.  While the most common advantages are low expenses, low turnover, massive diversification, Paul suggests the #1 reason may be staying as far away as you possibly can from commission-based sales people, con artists and other conflicts of interest typically not associated with index fund providers.

Many do-it-yourself investors rely of services that have a large presence on the internet. A wonderful aspect of the internet is the ability to do meaningful due diligence on the reputations of those offering their "special ways" to perform better than index funds.  But can you depend on the information you find on the internet?

Paul discusses the services of “search engine suppression consultants.”  These very clever people are wizards at making bad information disappear.  In fact, in many cases their fees are not earned until all the damaging information is totally eliminated.  He reads an example of one such article that claims to address the pros and cons of a well-known investment manager.  The pros are strong convincing points, while the cons are almost the mistakes that we would expect would be found in any firm.

Paul also addresses the outrageous life-changing fees teachers are being charged and the work of an unscrupulous sales person who holds himself out as a friend of his community.

The bottom line: None of these bad investments would be available through those who supply very low-cost index funds. The low costs eliminate almost any chance to misuse the investor.

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