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In this episode of Intelligent Money Minute, I had the pleasure of interviewing Larry Swedroe, head of Financial and Economic Research at Buckingham Strategic Wealth, on what an intelligent investor should do with market outlooks.
The Reality of Market Forecasts
Larry firmly grounds his perspective in empirical evidence, highlighting that market forecasts hold no genuine value. The research indicates that predicting the future is beyond the prowess of even the most esteemed experts. Warren Buffett, revered for his investing prowess, hasn’t entertained macro forecasts for over 25 years, emphasizing their futility in guiding long-term plans.
An intriguing paradox emerges when investors revere individuals like Buffett or Peter Lynch yet often disregard their advice. Larry notes the danger of succumbing to predictions by market gurus like Jeremy Grantham, whose forecasts have often faltered, leading investors astray. The empirical evidence reaffirms that forecasting market trends accurately remains elusive.
The Ark Investment Phenomenon
Kathy Wood’s approach at Ark Investments soared on a narrative of disruptive technologies, akin to the late 90s tech boom. However, as Larry points out, this strategy historically led to significant volatility and long-term underperformance. Wood’s fund initially gained traction, attracting billions of dollars during its successful periods, only to face substantial challenges when those speculative trends faltered.
The pattern echoes a cycle familiar in investing: rising investor interest leads to inflows, magnifying the fund’s exposure and driving up the prices of thinly traded stocks. This reinforcement ultimately feeds back into the momentum, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, when these high expectations are not substantiated by earnings, the bubble bursts, leaving investors vulnerable.
Prudent Advice for Investors: Tune Out Market Forecasts
Larry’s analysis emphasizes that while Kathy Wood’s strategies occasionally yield short-term successes, they often culminate in long-term disappointments. This rollercoaster ride in performance, influenced by speculative investments in disruptive technologies, serves as a cautionary tale for investors.
Larry Swedroe’s wisdom is clear: investors should tune out market forecasts and strategists and adhere to well-crafted investment plans. Instead of chasing returns or following the latest headlines, the focus should remain on executing well-thought-out plans. He cautions against hasty reactions driven by market noise.
For those seeking a financial advisor or aiming to reevaluate their investment strategies, we extend an invitation to connect with us. Our goal is to help you minimize financial stress and maximize your life’s potential through informed, tailored financial decisions.
We’ll be interviewing Larry on several podcasts regarding markets, passive investing, and diversification, so be sure to subscribe to our Intelligent Money Minute podcasts.
Larry was among the first authors to publish a book that explained the science of investing in layman’s terms, “The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You’ll Ever Need.” He has since authored seven more books.
Larry Swedroe Bio
Since joining Buckingham Strategic Wealth in 1996, Chief Research Officer Larry Swedroe has spent his time and energy educating investors on the benefits of evidence-based investing.
In his role as chief research officer and as a member of the firm’s Investment Policy Committee and Board of Directors, Larry regularly reviews the findings published in dozens of peer-reviewed financial journals, evaluates the outcomes and uses the result to inform the firm’s formal investment strategy recommendations.
Larry’s dedication to helping others has made him a sought-after national speaker. He has made appearances on national television shows airing on NBC, CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg Personal Finance. Larry is a prolific writer, contributing regularly to multiple outlets, including Advisor Perspectives and ETF.com.
Before joining Buckingham, Larry was vice chairman of Prudential Home Mortgage and senior vice president at Citicorp.
Larry holds an MBA in finance and investment from NYU and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Baruch College.
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