For members of the media, there is a press release at the foot of this post
A little knowledge, they say, is a dangerous thing. It certainly was for me when it came to investing. I read the money sections in the weekend papers, I watched financial television, and I kept a regular check on the how the global stock markets were doing. I knew I wasn’t an expert, but I considered myself at least a bit sophisticated.
But then, in 2011, after a long career in mainstream journalism, I started to research how investing really works. I read books and academic articles, and I traveled far and wide meeting men and women who’ve spent decades studying this subject, including three winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics.
What amazed throughout this process, and indeed still does today, is that there is a vast amount of academic literature out there which most investors — and even, astonishingly enough, many financial professionals — are not even aware of. What does it say? Well, there’s a remarkably broad academic consensus on what investors should be doing; basically, they should be keeping costs low, diversifying widely, taking a long-term view and trading as little as possible. Yet very, very few people actually do all of those things, and many do none.
What’s even more worrying is that investors are actively encouraged by the investment industry and the financial media to act in ways which usually lead to worse outcomes.
I’m delighted to announce that, very shortly, I will start to release a six-part online documentary about investing, which my colleagues at Regis Media and I have produced for RockWealth, a financial planning firm based at Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, and which aims to redress the balance.
45 minutes in length, Investing: The Evidence is the fourth documentary I have made about investing. It sets out, in simple terms, the three main types of investing, namely active, passive and factor investing, and explains which, or rather which combination, of those, is best. It also addresses the issue of risk, the importance of good investor behaviour and, last but not least, the value of working with a first-class financial planning firm like RockWealth.
There are literally thousands of books on investing, and about as many blogs. Pick up any investment magazine and you’ll find all sorts of opinions on what you should, or shouldn’t be doing. But the truth is, to quote William Bernstein in his book The Four Pillars of Investing, “the body of knowledge that the individual investor, or even the professional, needs to master is pitifully small”.
By watching this documentary you will be arming yourself with all the information you really need to know in order to have a successful investment experience.
Yes, a little knowledge can be a very powerful thing.
For more information about RockWealth, here’s an interview with Tim Horrocks on our sister blog, Adviser 2.0:
ROBIN POWELL is the founder and editor of The Evidence-Based Investor. A freelance journalist, he runs Regis Media, a specialist content marketing consultancy for financial advice firms around the world. You can follow him on Twitter and on LinkedIn.
Let’s change investing for the better
Regis Media, which produces TEBI, works with financial advisers, asset managers and fintech companies who share our evidence-based investing philosophy. We produce content for all the major English-speaking markets, as well as Germany and the Netherlands. Get in touch via our website, and let’s change the global investing industry for the better.