Popular Activities That Add No Long Term Value Compared to Index Funds: Focusing on the consensus superstitions of traders, for instance, support levels, candlesticks, and chart shapes. Obsessing over dividend stocks. Playing with options strategies. Forecasting near-term market movements. Believing that valuation graphs identify undervalued stocks. Paying an investment advisor 1% of your assets annually. Thinking that beating a benchmark index for several years is predictive of future performance. Investing in stocks that are popular on stock tip websites. Laboriously building a portfolio that's similar to an existing low-fee ETF, but without the diversification.