Stop making fund managers society's go-to scapegoats

SUPPOSE you're an asset manager deciding whether to finance a West African oil company. The debt will be government guaranteed and offers high yields with little risk of not being repaid, which is good for returns. The project will create jobs, which is good from a social standpoint. But it's...

When a spy network beats an investing spreadsheet

A JPMORGAN Chase & Co. study of more than 25,000 transcripts of conference calls held by companies in the S&P 500 index, released a few weeks ago, showed concern among business executives about geopolitical risks climbing to the highest level in five years. From rising global trade...

COMMENTARY

Taleb was right. We're still fooled by randomness

IN his 2001 book Fooled by Randomness, author and fund manager Nassim Nicholas Taleb (right) argued that chance plays a largely unacknowledged role in success, particularly in the finance industry.

Resist the siren song of investment professionals

IT'S almost 80 years since Fred Schwed's book Where Are The Customers' Yachts? lifted the lid on Wall Street's propensity to enrich itself at the expense of its clients. A new study suggests that the most lucrative investment a fund could make would be paying to relocate its...

The future of fund management? It's vinyl

ACTIVE fund managers face an existential crisis. Study after study suggests too few of them beat the benchmarks they track. The flood of money into low-cost index tracking products is evidence that investors are losing faith in their ability to outperform and are increasingly unwilling to pay...