Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Meir Statman: Amateur investors expect impossible - SFGate

Tomorrow (yes on Thanksgiving) I am speaking with Meir Statman on some Behavioral finance issues. Recently he was in the San Francisco Chronicle. His basic investment advice:

Meir Statman: Amateur investors expect impossible - SFGate:
"Q: You pound the drum for index funds. Is that because you think the markets are efficient and therefore unbeatable over the long-term?

A: The market is not efficient. It's crazy, but the fact that it's crazy doesn't make you a psychiatrist. It's crazy like a wild animal. You wouldn't want to go against a wild lion because it's crazy. It's crazy in ways you cannot understand and cannot forecast.

People in behavioral finance and standard finance come to the same conclusion - don't try to beat the market. Whether it is rational, as people in standard finance say, or crazy, as I say, don't try it.

Practically speaking, individual investors should treat the market as unbeatable and realize that when they try to beat it because it is inefficient, they are likely to injure themselves, rather than gain at the expense of another.

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