How to Find Value in a Complicated Market Environment

An article in Morningstar outlines a discussion with global equity manager Peter Wilmshurst regarding how his team chooses strong value stocks within an increasingly expensive global environment. Wilmshurst says, “I think when most people make observations about what the share market has done, how expensive it is, they go to the U.S. The U.S. is the biggest market. It’s the biggest country in pretty much all our portfolios at this point in time. But there’s… Read More

Where have all the Star Stock Pickers Gone?

By John Reese (@guruinvestor) —  The days of the star stock picker are largely gone, but aspects of their investment genius live on in other ways. In the mid to late 90s, the Fidelity Magellan fund was the largest mutual fund in existence. Run for years by the legendary Peter Lynch—during which time the fund’s return doubled that of the market– the fund went from $14 million in assets to $40 billion by the time… Read More

Study Finds that Stock Picking Probably Won’t Make Investors Rich

While some stock pickers can successful, investors should keep in mind that the odds are against them, according to a recent article inThe New York Times. “It’s not just that bull markets like this one eventually come to an end,” the article says, “It’s that over the long run, while the total stock market has prospered, most individual stocks have not.” It offers findings from finance professor Hendrik Bessembinder (of Arizona State University) showing that,… Read More

Ritholtz Says Stock-Picking is Still Alive if Not Kicking

Active fund management has been losing followers but isn’t going away entirely, writes Barry Ritholtz in a recent Bloomberg article. While stock-picking has seen a host of changes, he offers several insights as to “how we got here” including the following: Beating the market is tougher than most people thought, a notion that Ritholtz says has become “widely accepted among both professional investors and individuals.” We have a much greater understanding of investor psychology, and… Read More

Stock-Picking Strategies from Barron’s Veteran

Advocating a flexible approach to stock-picking, a recent article by Barron’s veteran Andrew Bary offers some guidance that incorporate the ever-successful strategies of Warren Buffett while emphasizing the importance of creating a “well-diversified portfolio before trying to pick individual stocks.” He writes that Barron’s tends to favor both value stocks (those with low price-to-earnings or price-to-book ratios) and growth companies (those with rapid earnings and revenue growth) and outlines the following guidelines: Paying for growth—when… Read More

Are the Markets Really Efficient?

Warren Buffett has always been open about his approach to investing, singing the praises of focusing on business fundamentals to find strong stocks at good prices. However, in a recent BloombergView article, columnist Noah Smith outlines some reasons why the Buffett philosophy actually contradicts the efficient market hypothesis (EMH), an investment theory that says it’s impossible to beat the market because existing share prices reflect all relevant information. A recent debate between University of Chicago finance… Read More

Are Index Funds Passive Aggressive?

“The index provider is becoming more of a stock picker,” said Rodney Comegys, head of investments for Asia Pacific at Vanguard Group (which oversees more than $3 trillion in primarily passive funds). “In some ways,” he says, “they’re replacing the active manager.” In a WealthManagement.com article from earlier this month, Bloomberg’s Andrea Tan delved into the surging presence of index funds. The article characterizes New York-based index compiler MSCI and others (including FTSE Russell and… Read More

Forget Asset Allocation, says Glenmede’s CEO

Stock-picking is still in vogue with Gordon Fowler, CEO of the $24 billion Glenmede Trust fund. A recent Barron’s article describes the process employed by his team. “Every morning, Fowler assembles his wealth advisory group simply to brainstorm about individual stocks and come up with smart client moves.” According to Fowler, deep analysis of equities makes more sense than picking broad asset allocations. “In this environment,” he says, “stock mispricings are bound to arise, and… Read More

Is the Next Peter Lynch or Warren Buffett Waiting in the Wings as Value Emerges

Bloomberg reports on the market shifts toward value as “returning to an era when stock pickers reigned,” drawing on comments by Bank of Montreal’s Brian Belski, who said “it’s a Warren Buffet or Peter Lynch-type world where you buy good companies and stick with them.” As Bloomberg puts it, Belski’s comments reflect that “the current climate recalls the 1980s” when Lynch’s record with Fidelity and Buffet’s success “rose to fame.” The article notes, “an index… Read More