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Behind the poor conclusion and confusing graphics is, not surprisingly, money.

Financial firms do a good business these days in managing portfolios. So, for example, if JP Morgan Chase manages your assets they might charge you 1% per year for the service of switching you from one mutual fund to another [with the mutual fund management fees in addition to this]. So, if you have a retirement portfolio of $2 million, you are paying them $20,000 a year to do this. [I don't know how much Schwab attempts to charge.]

Fundamental to this is convincing you that (a) performance among different large sectors is different, and (b) assuming part a is true, that they have some idea what the sectors will do in the future.

In the quest to do this convincing, you want graphics which show your point, NOT necessarily graphics that communicate truth.

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Marketing analytics and data visualization expert. Author and Speaker. Currently at Columbia. See my full bio.

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