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The efficient market hypothesis (EMH) was developed by Eugene Fama who argued that stocks always trade at their fair value, making it impossible for investors to either purchase undervalued stocks or sell stocks for inflated prices. So it is better to buy and hold broad index fund rather than picking individual stocks. Fama believed that returns earned above the index are an outcome of pure luck. However, research indicated that there are sources of Alpha (excess returns over benchmark) in plain sight because of behavioural biases of market participants, or structural/liquidity issues of the market. These factors are acknowledged by Eugene Fama who went on to publish 5 factor model.
Worldwide, there is a lot of hue and cry over high expense ratio that investment management firms charge for generating better than market return. Globally, funds are moving out of active strategies to low cost passive investing. The logic for these flows is often cited that value addition done by active mutual funds is small and uncertain vs the fees charged by them.
Talking in the Indian Context, The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) wants to review whether Indian mutual funds are overcharging their customers by imposing a high total expense ratio (TER).
All of us perhaps do both, but we can’t deny we have a preference, a natural inclination. But it is not difficult to find out if we really fit Category 2 – just ask yourself when was the last time you made a real (not mental) list of things to buy before going shopping. Chances are that most of us will realize we belong to Category 1.
However, men, we suspect will be shouting in their heads, Category 1 describes women shoppers aptly, and we can’t belong to this category. Think about the stuff you buy and ask yourself did this feature on your shopping list.
Listening to experts is almost like an addiction for most stock investors. While many don’t even realize that they are addicted to this, others who have experienced that experts don’t win for them, are wondering how they can ever get out of it.
Stock investing is all about the future, you invest today with the expectation of a return tomorrow. And when it comes to anything about the future, we are prone to believe in predictions and predictors. Our belief may range from mild interest to staunch conviction; so much so that we may not do anything significant without consulting the stars and the astrologer/forecaster. So, how do we differentiate anything said in stock investing as an act of prediction (a forecaster approach) or sound analysis (an Analyst approach)?