#SFTW: We need to look at adviser conferences
Posted by Robin Powell on June 16, 2017
SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND
An extraordinary thing happened to me at a conference the other day.
I don’t intend to embarrass anyone — I simply want to raise what I consider to be an important issue — so I’m not going to give the precise details. Suffice it to say, it was a conference for financial advisers, held in a large provincial city.
I was the keynote speaker and the first on stage. I talked about the rise of evidence-based investing and the campaign for greater transparency in asset management. Nothing too controversial. But, once I’d finished, it soon became clear that something wasn’t right.
Final call for EBI West
I was still only half awake when I caught the end of a news item on the radio the other day about sharks at Dana Point in California. “You are paddleboarding next to approximately 15 great white sharks,” a coastguard helicopter calmly warned beachgoers as it circled overhead.
“Hang on,” said Mrs P, “Isn’t that where you’re going for that investing conference?” Indeed it is, although my plans to enjoy a dip in the Pacific while I’m there have been well and truly shelved.
Never speculate on election results
I had a dismal record as a student politician, but 1988 was my absolute nadir. I worked on the failed Dukakis-Bentsen campaign and, closer to home, on the very last by-election the ill-fated SDP ever took part in, in Kensington. We were hammered. Spending a week having doors slammed shut in your face is a depressing experience. The idea of super-wealthy Kensington returning anything other than a Conservative MP really was unthinkable.
But, last week, it really did happen.
Desperation in a fund manager is a dangerous thing
It’s no secret that active managers have been having a hard time delivering alpha. With fund houses closing and cutting staff, managers, aren’t just fighting for their bonuses any more; they are, quite literally, are fighting for survival.
This, in itself, creates an additional hazard for investors, because the more desperate to outperform managers become, the more likely they are to take on additional risk, as new research from Canada has confirmed.
SPIVA at 15: What have we learned?
SPIVA, the S&P Index Versus Active scorecard, is 15 years old and, to mark the occasion, I was invited by S&P Dow Jones to discuss the lessons we’ve learned in that time with Craig Lazzara, S&P’s Global Head of Index Investment Strategy.
From our sister blog, Adviser 2.0
Also worth reading
Beat the field by shooting par (Dougal Williams)
Why pessimism is so seductive (Morgan Housel)
With investing, good enough beats perfect (Michael Batnick)
Are you your harshest critic? Give yourself a break (Carl Richards)
5 things parents & grandchildren can do to teach children about money (Tricia Phillips)
The great Active Share smackdown (or how to spot closet index funds) (Robert Tattersall)
Why fund management companies put asset gathering ahead of performance (Dan Brocklebank)
Finally, if you’re new to equity investing, this is a great place to start:
Investing for beginners: The global stock market (Monevator)