By Paul Morrone CFP®, CPA, MSA
Soaring equity prices make people as giddy as winning the lottery as they see their retirement plan balances rise during the year; and with this euphoria there are always people wanting to share how much money they’ve made. The office water cooler conversation turns to rates of return, hot stock tips and advice from a co-worker whose brother-in-law who is ‘good with money.’ Most of the time, people walk away from these conversations frustrated, conflicted or feeling like they are missing out on something. The first thing to remember is that many times people exaggerate (and sometimes flat-out lie) in these conversations, as ego trumps logic and numbers are generously rounded up. If they say they made 20%, I’d be willing to bet it is probably less.