The Great Debate UK
from Global Investing:
Bank of America-Merrill Lynch's monthly poll of around 200 fund managers had a few nuggets in the June version, aside from the usual mood-taking.
Gold is too expensive. A net 27 percent of respondent thought it overvalued, up from 13 percent in May. Then again, the respondents to this poll have reckoned gold is too pricey since September 2009.
The fall in the euro should be tailing off. A net 14 percent reckon the single currency is still overvalued, but that is way down from the net 45 percent who thought so in the May poll.
BP is good for pharma. The net percentage of fund managers who remain overweight in energy stocks plunged to 7 percent in June from 37 percent in May as oil has continued to spill into the Gulf of Mexico. The stock beneficiaries have been "dividend friendly" utilities, telecoms and pharmaceuticals.
from Global Investing:
Hundreds or even thousands of "active" fund managers are competing to add alpha to beat benchmark indexes, be it in stocks, bonds or alternatives.
The market is so efficient, historical performance is no guide to the future. It's nearly impossible to find a reliable method to pick advisers who deliver the best industry returns year in and out. There are also costs, from visible ones such as management fees and custody and administration expenses to "below water" costs such as trading commissions (due to higher turnover), bid/ask spread (price to buy, another to sell) and market impact costs (larger buy/sell orders affecting price).
If anyone has reason to pray that the current equity rally holds, it is the world’s active fund managers who need investors to return to the folly of betting on outperforming the markets rather than the uninspiring but reliable business of cutting costs.
from The Great Debate:
While they have avoided the opprobrium heaped on bankers during the bear market, traditional active fund managers have quietly been proving that they too are often highly paid destroyers of value.
Active managers have few bushes left to hide behind, and the release of a new report from Standard & Poor's uproots one of the few left: that somehow they provide protection during down markets, being able to go into cash and defensive stocks.