The Rent-a-Stock Rage

Photo by Katrina.Tuliao

Bogle claims such practices may help Wall Street brokers but clearly hurt investors who would be better off to hold stocks for the long term and avoid transfer fees. Now, the tendency is to flit from one stock to another in the hope of hitting the jackpot. This “rent-a-stock” mentality can be seen in the fact that, in 1950, mutual funds held a stock for an average of nearly six years. Now the average is less than a year.

The average equity mutual fund turned over its portfolio at a 17 percent rate in the 1950s and 25 percent in the 1960s,” Bogle reports. “But by 1985, turnover had leaped to 100 percent, and has remained around that astonishingly high level ever since.” (John C. Bogle, The Clash of the Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey, 2012, p. 41-42.)