Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Logic to avoid mental effort?

I am not trained in logic, but something seems screwy here at second glance.

Statement 1. You can beat market research by doing your own research.

Could this be true? Maybe.

Question 2. Every investor can beat the average (simultaneously) by reading the same information?

Answer: Yes Is false, not mathematically possible.

Question 3. Why don't more people do it?

Answer: Just lazy I guess.

The key is the word "simultaneously" , it is inferred in the second question, but not actually said. The correct answer is: many investors don't even try. They are the "dumb money" picking stocks based on emotion or buying (mutual funds that track) indexes. Pointy hair guy is making an assumption: Every investor who does do her research can beat the market averages long term, based on the assumption that the other investors will remain lazy (or believe they don't stand a chance and thus don't even try.)

My conclusion: The author Scott Adams is making a point that you shouldn't even try to beat the index, because it is impossible. In reality things might not add up as neatly as it seems at first glance. As casual reader who believes in the Efficient Market Hypothesis, will just see a confirmation of her bias and laugh at how people could be so stupid as to try beating the market.


Comments, questions or E-mails welcome:

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