I’ve posted Entry #214 to my weekly Valuation-Informed Indexing column at the Value Walk site. It’s called Is It Possible That Valuations Affect Long-Term Returns But That Predictions Do No Work?
Juicy Excerpt: The book The Myth of the Rational Market does a fine job of explaining the history of explaining how we got to the strangeTwilight Zone period of understanding how the stock market works that we live in today. It explains how the idea that the market is efficient was disproven but then stops short of saying what that signifies for those seeking to invest effectively.
If the market is not efficient, we all must be sure to adjust our stock allocations in response to big price swings so that we can keep our risk profiles roughly constant. The book doesn’t reach that conclusion, It explains why the old ideas on how stock investing works have been discredited. But it then cops out on the matter of describing new ideas. It suggests that, even though all the reasons for believing that Buy-and-Hold strategies might work have been disproven, it still might be a good idea to follow such strategies.
I find zero merit in this line of thought. I am often tempted to conclude that the people pushing it do not believe themselves in what they are saying. But I must say in all fairness that all signs are that the DO believe. Many smart and good people sincerely believe that Buy-and-Hold strategies make sense even though the theory supporting these strategies was shot down three decades ago. As amazing and as scary as that reality is, that’s the reality of where things stand today.