We seek to improve the investment decisions of investors who talk to us relative to those who don't.
- The absolute return investment philosophy makes sense while the relative return investment philosophy does not.
- Active risk management is the key to "absolute returns" (i.e. long-term positive compounding of capital) and therefore the key discipline in investment management.
- Large losses kill the rate at which capital compounds and are not good for one's financial and mental health. All investors are loss averse, not risk averse.
- Active risk management is a craft, neither a science nor an art. The first principle of risk management is "learning by doing," i.e. experience matters.
- Most of the risk management literature is about risk measurement, rather than risk management. Risk management is about responsibility, not models.
- Most of the risk management literature is focused on risk and volatility, rather than uncertainty. Investors need to get compensated for bearing uncertainty.
- Active risk management and continuous investment success is difficult. We are sceptical of all the academic research suggesting otherwise.
- Markets might or might not be forecastable; active risk management is doable and worthwhile in any case.
- Many axioms in economics and finance (rational expectations, efficient and complete markets, etc.) are wrong and expensive to investors and the system alike.
- Knowledge, understanding, insight, perspective, and, ideally, applied wisdom improves the quality of investment decisions; more granular data does not.
- When it comes to understanding, most of the detail simply does not matter. Common sense trumps minutia.
- Yes, the devil is in the detail. But if you get the big picture wrong, you need not worry about detail.
- Leonardo da Vinci hit the proverbial nail on its head: "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
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