How often will we have to hear this nonsense from pontificating pundits and portfolio managers out ballyhooing the pending stock buying opportunity of a lifetime? The equation above is only applicable when something is actually learned from the chaos and behavior is changed. The common definition of insanity–the behavior of people who keep doing the same thing, yet expect different results–is likely more relevant.
So far, I see little evidence that advisors have learned anything from their vanishing AUM, despite irrefutable evidence that:
o Stocks have plummeted more than 60% in real terms since the market peak in 2000. They have performed no better than 20-year Treasuries for the past 40 years and certainly have not delivered their risk premium.
o Bonds may be the next bubble (according to Warren Buffett; Don Phillips of Morningstar expresses similar misgivings about fixed income in an interview on page 44) as unprecedented spending, ballooning deficits, risk of a devalued dollar, and inflation could prompt foreign investors to dump Treasuries.
o Modern Portfolio Theory, traditional asset-allocation and diversification models, and buy-and-hold investing have been materially discredited over the past 80 years.
Will investment advisors revisit their mantras or continue to tout the same traditional asset-allocation models that have so dutifully devastated their investment portfolios?
Empirically, investor returns on private investments constitute the single largest source of private wealth in America. All stages of private venture investment (early/seed through mezzanine and later) have dramatically outperformed traditional equity indexes over the past five, 10 and 20 years.
Investment advisors should educate themselves to become more familiar with best practices in evaluating and ultimately embracing private investment opportunities for investors. Prudently implemented, private investments can materially benefit your client’s portfolios, and, in turn, your investment advisory practice.