Re: Predicting the Stock Market Is Child's Play

Date: Fri Mar 15 2002 - 03:13:01 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Predicting the Stock Market Is Child's Play
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    In a message dated 3/14/2002 8:17:53 PM Central Standard Time, Wade T.Smith
    <> writes:

    > Hi -
    > >But what am I saying? Perhaps I should just establish the Immaturity
    > >Fund, a mutual fund whose stocks are all picked by a 5 year old. I could
    > say
    > >"Outperformed FTSE 100 for 1 year, 5 years, and the life of the fund."
    > >Anyone
    > >want to invest? ;-)
    > If it were an established fund with that sort of record, yes....

    Hi Wade.

    Actually, those statements of "1 year, 5 years, and the life of the
    fund." can be deceptive for much the same reasons as are the
    stories of the successful young child. Investment companies will
    create a bunch of funds, then after 5 years take the most successful
    one out of obscurity, rename it, and start selling its spectacular
    record to the public. Their motive is less to get attention than to make
    money by persuading small investors to invest in the fund. So
    we must be careful about what we mean by "an established
    > The more interesting thing in the item I forwarded (I'm totally aware of
    > how we forget the misses and the impish shine upon this report), is that
    > the system that used the standard predictors simply followed the general
    > course of the market- and that is, it dwindled, this time.

    Well, far be it from me to recommend the "standard predictors."
    > The young girl's choices were described as 'random' but, I suspect that's
    > a liberty, especially when I see one of her choices is Cadbury
    > Schweppes....

    Yes. She may have systematically avoided things hard to understand,
    like dot-coms and other technology firms. Moreover, there are
    situations where random picks will out-perform the market. For
    instance, if most of the FTSE 100 stocks go up for a year but the
    index is pulled down by a minority of heavy losers.

    --Aaron Lynch

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