2013

Triumph of the Ostriches

Throwing caution to the wind has been very profitable – so far. But if history is any guide, there are many reasons for investors to consider taking a much more cautious stance.

Here are the facts: according to every valuation metric that matters (i.e. with statistical significance through history), stocks are quite expensive.

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The Whole is Greater than the Sum of the Parts

One of the most mind-blowing implications of portfolio theory is that a well conceived portfolio has the potential to be much better, in terms of risk adjusted performance, than what we might expect from the sum of the individual portfolio holdings.

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What the Bull Giveth, the Bear Taketh Away

The question of whether to commit new funds to stocks here is nuanced and complex, not least because it isn’t obvious that traditional alternatives – bonds or cash – offer any better value. We are very near all-time low interest rates across most developed government bond markets, credit spreads are near all-time tights, and rates are negative out to 5 or more years in real terms.

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Valuation Based Equity Market Forecasts – Q1 2013 Update

To be crystal clear, the commentary below makes no assertions about whether markets will carry on higher from current levels. Expensive markets can get much more expensive in the intermediate term, and investors need look no further back than the late 2000s for just such an example.

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Predicting Markets, or Marketing Predictions

We know from studies of expert judgement that gurus who make nuanced predictions and hedge their bets attract much less attention than experts who spin dramatic predictions with unswerving confidence. As a result, firms are predisposed to encourage gurus to voice strong opinions and divergent views that stand out from the crowd.

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Track Records are Rubbish (or Why Managers are Factors in Drag)

The investment management industry knows that you are influenced by percent symbols preceded by large numbers, so they market products with the best 1, 3 and 5 year track records, prominently featuring them in newspaper and TV advertisements, knowing that you will be unable to resist the urge to chase into those funds to avoid missing another year of riches.

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About Us

ReSolve Asset Management Blog is an investment research forum, opinion pieces, and educational material from the team at ReSolve Asset Management. Our views are driven by evidence based finance, with a special focus on asset allocation, factors and smart beta, retirement and endowment strategies, and quantitative methods.

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