Friday, November 25, 2011

It's Not Rocket Science: Part IV

Tom Bradley is a founder of Steadyhand, a different kind of mutual fund company that focuses on low-fee, low-turnover portfolios where managers are encouraged to seek value wherever it can be found. Bradley summarizes his thoughts on how to beat the market in his book It's Not Rocket Science, summarized below

Successful money managers have long since let go of the notion that they can time the market, according to Bradley. Unfortunately, the investment industry continues to place far too much emphasis on the short-term.

Even though investors know they should focus on the long-term, they can't help but think short-term, much to the detriment of their results. The media hits us with recent news and seeks to provide information about what will happen tomorrow or next week. Corporations come out with results four times a year, and so we try to determine whether they met expectations over the last three months. Instead, we should be thinking about the long-term strategies of these companies.

Bradley calls this focus on the short-term a huge waste of brainpower. But once you accept the fact that you don't know where the markets are going for the rest of the year, you can focus on doing your job. It's okay to say "I don't know" when you're asked where the markets are going in the next year. Not enough people in the investment industry feel that way, however.

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