Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Refuting an attack on indexation

Probably the best money management blog out there is Andy Silton's "Meditations on Money Management".  Andy is a retired professional, who although in his earlier days was an active manager, now fully subscribes to the notion that you can't beat the market.

Andy's latest post [ here ] - is a rebuttal to a piece in the New York Times profiling Robert Olstein who is an active manager.  Olstein lives in a world where anecdotes and stories carry more weight than hard facts and data.  This is the world that most active managers live in.   They'll claim that of course, most people can't beat the market, but a few can - and they are part of the chosen few.   They'll point to a few good years of returns and say "see how I beat the market?"

All active manager's have stories and anecdotes about how they can beat the market, and if you believe them, then you'll hand over your cash and pay the 1% management fee.   But if you're smart, you'll index.   In the long run you'll be richer - because of the hard facts of the mathematics of finance.  No anecdotes needed.