Scientific Sense Podcast

Thursday, October 30, 2014

White alpha

A recent study from Michigan State University seems to prove what the Chicago school has been asserting for nearly half a century. Although the study claims to be “first of its kind,” the conclusions have been known to most academics for long. There is no alpha – risk adjusted excess returns – anywhere. And, by implication, a blind man, a high flying hedge fund manager or a super-smart financial advisor has an equal chance of making random alpha in the market.

Mad and fast money experts on financial TV have been perpetuating a farce. The only alpha they make is the money they get paid by the producers of the show. That is indeed, alpha - if they spent that time trading, they would have lost money and alpha, if they knew what that meant. A trillion $ sloshes around the markets – idiots trading back and forth – as if it means something. Then, there are tens of thousand of “financial advisors,” most not qualified to advise anybody and the rest helping to destroy wealth systematically, in fees. The financial services industry destroys wealth to that extent that if the industry is made illegal, the economy will grow by an additional couple of percentage points.

Value is only created by real companies, innovating and creating new products. Those, trying to monetize and trade on them, simply destroys value. And, those who “advises” the common woman on how to invest, destroys more.

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