Buffett to hedge fund managers: your customers would do better investing in a no-load index fund. To prove his point, Buffett has bet $1 million to that effect on Long Bets.
Costs skyrocket when large annual fees, large performance fees, and active trading costs are all added to the active investor’s equation. Funds of hedge funds accentuate this cost problem because their fees are superimposed on the large fees charged by the hedge funds in which the funds of funds are invested.
A number of smart people are involved in running hedge funds. But to a great extent their efforts are self-neutralizing, and their IQ will not overcome the costs they impose on investors. Investors, on average and over time, will do better with a low-cost index fund than with a group of funds of funds.
James Surowiecki on insider trading and members of Congress. From 1993-1998, “senators beat the market, on average, by twelve per cent annually”. Here’s a piece on the same study from the FT early last year.
Fun speculation that the purpose of Google’s big stock sale is to grease the skids for their entrance into the S&P 500. Lots of new people buy the stock of a company just added to the index and the stock sale would make that inventory available. (Or do they need money to buy Skype? Or are Google execs getting jittery about being in a bubble and want to cash in?)
Venture capitalist Howard Anderson on why he’s leaving the VC game. Rational markets and an over-supply of technology are two of his reasons.
Venture capital is flowing back into Internet companies. “It is too early to say whether the flush environment heralds another tech investment bubble, but there are echoes of the dotcom boom.”