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JWR1945
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2004 3:44 pm    Post subject: What is the Complaint? Reply with quote

What is the Complaint?

In this post
http://nofeeboards.com/boards/viewtopic.php?p=23342#23342
Alec provided a link to Mining Fool's Gold from the Financial Analysts Journal of March/April 1999
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=158409

I have read a lot of complaints about the Foolish Four investment strategy. Now that I know what it is, I want to know what people are complaining about. Is their complaint about the strategy? Or is their complaint about the sales pitch?

The Foolish Four

The Foolish Four is best characterized as a mechanically implemented trading strategy.

Here it is:
Once per year (which usually means in January), a person identifies the ten highest yielding stocks selected from the thirty that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average. He eliminates the stock with the lowest price (per share). He invests 40% of his money in the stock with the second lowest price (per share) and 20% of his money in each of the next three stocks with the lowest prices. He does not invest in any of the five remaining stocks with the highest dividend yields. Nor does he invest in any of the remaining twenty Dow Stocks. At the end of a year, he liquidates his holdings and repeats the process for the following year.

Notice that the annual turnover can be as high as 100%. This is why I call it a trading strategy. If the same company appears on the following year's list, it does not have to be sold in its entirety. Some shares may have to be sold in order to restore allocations.

If you are going to engage in trading, the Foolish Four is not a horrible choice. Thanks to the internet, it is possible to reduce transaction costs sufficiently to keep the financial cost of trading low enough to limit the damage. Depending upon the size of one's portfolio and how much time remains for accumulation, owning only four stocks can make sense. At worst, it can be thought of as an intermediate step towards implementing the ten-stock Dogs of the Dow trading strategy.

There is an element of the Foolish Four trading strategy that makes sense: buying high quality stocks with high dividends.

As with the Dogs of the Dow, popularity attracts front running, which kills most of its upside potential.

Dividend Strategies

The best dividend strategy that I have read so far is in The Single Best Investment by Lowell Miller. He selects stocks using the following criteria: buy high quality companies with high dividend yields and high dividend growth rates. He prefers to own many stocks, typically thirty or forty. He prefers not to sell, but will in certain circumstances such as a discontinued dividend or a financial scandal.

The Gordon Equation is that the Discount Rate (which equals the total return if future investments are financially identical to currently available investments) equals the dividend yield plus the dividend growth rate. We see that this is built into Lowell Miller's approach.

James O'Shaughnessy has conducted extensive research that used Standard and Poor's entire Compustat database (covering the years 1951-1996). He has presented his findings in What Works on Wall Street. He has recommended five trading strategies in How to Retire Rich. Four of those strategies emphasize high dividend yields. Although he prefers to own 50 stocks, he allows holding as few as 25 stocks in his two best strategies. His three remaining strategies are concessions. Each has only ten stocks, but each emphasizes high quality and high dividends. These three include the Dogs of the Dow, a Utility strategy and a Core Value strategy. Quality is assured with the Dogs of the Dow because of the composition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Quality is assured with the Utility strategy because it limits selections to those with rated highest for Safety by Value Line. [The strategy does not limit your choice to utilities. The requirement for the highest levels of safety causes it to end up with utilities.] Quality is assured with his Core Value strategy through an initial screening according to Value Line's Financial Strength ratings. He limits selections to those with the very highest A++ ratings. Otherwise, his selection process is similar to Lowell Miller's, but differs in the details.

Sales Pitches

When I read the claims that were made for the Foolish Four, I did not have any reaction. I considered them to be absurd and left it at that.

In my formative years, I learned to try for a 10% (nominal) return from stocks (with dividends reinvested). In those days, the long-term return of the stock market was considered to be 10%. If you are able to avoid making serious blunders, you can expect to make at least 8%. If you do exceptionally well, you might even get 12%, but 11% is excellent. Higher returns are possible, but seldom achieved.

An 11% return compounded over a long period of time shows a tremendous advantage when compared to a 10% return.

It is likely that the initial rules for IRAs were based upon a 10% return from the stock market. A worker who invests $2000 per year for 42 years ends up with just over $1 million if the return is 10%. A worker who starts at age 20 could be a millionaire by the time that he reached his minimum social security age of 62. [The IRA was one of the earlier solutions to an impending, future social security crisis.]

Because of my early training, I have never reacted to claims of ridiculously high returns. I automatically reject any claim bigger than 3%. Even then, it takes a lot of convincing for me to accept a number as high as 2%. Show me how to get an extra 1% and you have my attention. Show me that I can count on that 1% and I am enthusiastic.

Have fun.

John R.


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ben
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2004 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Believe the strategy took most of the beating. Stuff like "not keeping the one with lowest price per share" is pure vodoo or data mining.



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JWR1945
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2004 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ben
Quote:
Believe the strategy took most of the beating. Stuff like "not keeping the one with lowest price per share" is pure voodoo or data mining.

I find this interesting.

There was, of course, very little emphasis on cause-and-effect and a great deal of emphasis on numbers in isolation.

As far as price is concerned, it seems plausible that there is something that can be exploited. Corporate management generally sets a price range for their shares and uses splits to accomplish that purpose. My guess is that one might be able to increase his return in the neighborhood of 0.1% by doing things such as "not keeping the one with the lowest price per share."

It takes a long time to verify that a strategy works and there are problems with popularity (such as front running).

Consider the Dogs of the Dow trading strategy. It lost much of its luster after it became popular. Front running is very easy and brokerage fees eat up a lot of money. The underlying rationale is sound provided that transaction costs can be kept very low. Buying high quality stocks with higher than normal dividend yields is a good idea. OTOH, advertising a detailed, mechanically implemented version of a strategy [such as the Dogs of the Dow] kills the upside.

Dividend-based strategies are likely to become more and more popular in the future for two reasons: demographics and valuations. They are more suitable to meet the goals of retirees than other approaches. They provide reliable, steadily increasing income streams. And they are less vulnerable to downward price fluctuations than alternatives. Sustainable high dividends provide a floor that limits the downside risk.

[This doesn't last forever. Eventually, popularity will push dividend yields lower. However, there are a lot of strategies that work very well when applicable. Such strategies do not fail. They just cannot be used except when conditions are favorable.]

Which brings us back to the Foolish Four. In spite of the rhetoric, it has two elements in its favor: high quality companies and higher than normal dividend yields. If you focus on twenty to thirty years into the future, the Foolish Four might net you a reliable 1% advantage. That might be a big enough advantage for a long enough amount of time to overcome the high volatility associated with holding only four stocks.

Have fun.

John R.


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ben
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not hold the Foolish 1 stock then? Or the Foolish 5? And why biggest chunk in the 2nd lowest price per share when you just said that it is a sign of the company status? At least the Dogs of Dow had all TOP 10 yield incl. at EVEN share, while automatically giving more diversification.

I am not against using dividends as income stream in FIRE (or before) but that is different from defending the Foolish 4.



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hocus2004
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Which brings us back to the Foolish Four. In spite of the rhetoric, it has two elements in its favor: high quality companies and higher than normal dividend yields. If you focus on twenty to thirty years into the future, the Foolish Four might net you a reliable 1% advantage."

You've brought some interesting issues to the surface with this thread, JWR1945.

My guess is that you are probably right that there are some good points to the Foolish Four stratagy. The "problem" arose when DataSnooper questioned the merits of the claims that Motley Fool had made on behalf of the stratagy. The reaction of defenders of the Foolish Four was intensely emotional; it was a reaction much like the reaction we have seen with DCMs and the conventional SWR methodology.

The root question in both debates is whether internet discussion boards are a communications medium to be used solely aiding in social interaction or whether boards can also be used in some circumstances for learning purposes. The Motley Fool site rules were written to encourage use of the boards for learning, and the rules were generally enforced in reasonable ways in those days. The claims made on behalf of the Foolish Four were overwritten, DataSnooper challenged the claims, defenders tried to silence him, and everyone watched to see whether Tom and David Gardner meant what they said about their belief that the internet should be put to use for the good of the middle-class investor.

Motley Fool behaved poorly in the Foolish Four debate. But it never shut down the discussions altogether, even when some of their claims for the Foolish Four had been discredited. They behaved far worse in the Great SWR Debate, shutting down the discussions altogether when it became clear that there was no possibility of the intercst/Motley Fool argument being vindicated through reasoned discussion.

These debates are important because it is through such discussions that the long-term rules of debate on internet boards will be determined. In a pure social group it really would be rude of me to point out that intercst got the number wrong in his study. There was a post at the Motley Fool board once making exactly this point. Goofyhoofy said, that, if I was going to raise questions about the REHP study, I should not be doing it in "the house" of the study's author.

My view has always been that the Motley Fool board (and the various spin-offs from that board) are not an intercst house, but a community house. My view is that it is the community that matters, not any one individual, and the community has expressed a strong desire for honest and informed on-topic debate. So my view is that it just doesn't matter that much whether intercst wants to "permit" the discussions or not. I say that it is not his place to permit them or not to permit them.

There were always reasonable arguments in favor of the Foolish Four stratagy, just as there have always been arguments in favor of investing in S&P stocks at times of high valuation. The problem in both cases is that those who are strong defenders of the Foolish Four and those who are strong defenders of the conventional SWR methodology both are highly emotional about their pet investment ideas. So both respond with intense anger at any questions raised about these approaches. For boards to work as learning resources, questions must be permitted; no one poster can "own" a board aiming to help an entire community learn how to invest effectively.

I know about the great potential of discussion boards to do good as a result of my experience with the Motley Fool board during its Golden Age. For the medium to achieve its potential, the rules that will apply to govern debate need to be worked out. The old way--rule by goon squad--is not going to prevail; 90 percent of the potential posting community absolutely hates that stuff. The new way is going to be more in line with the rules set forth in the "Learning Together" link at Motley Fool. I believe that Motley Fool is over time coming to realize that it made a business mistake by deciding to no longer enforce those rules in a reasonable manner.

DataSnooper is a hero of the formative years of the internet discussion-board communication medium. He did something important by showing that it is possible in this medium to raise questions about even the most popular of dogmas.

You are right to make the case in favor of the Foolish Four. People learn from hearing both sides. Those who were so emotional in defense of the stratagy that they were not willing to permit reasoned scrutiny of it were wrong. DataSnooper performed a public service by raising the questions he did and by forcing Motley Fool to back down on its unsupported promises. My hope is that Motley Fool will ultimately back down on its support of the intercst study as well and return to reasonable enforcement of its "Learning Together" rules in administration of the REHP board as well.


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unclemick
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Dogs of the Dow , Foolish Four, and varients over the years have been 'good hunting grounds' periodically for dividend stocks.

My trading strategy -as such- is after 7-10 years, I compare the dividend stream to fixed income AND look at whether the stock has doubled in total return(with divs. reinvested). Underperformers are sell candidates.

This implies the rule of 72 - aka 10% - at least subconsciously.


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Bookm
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What the FF originated from does have some semblance of a solid theory. Yes the Dow is full of high quality stocks (for the most part). And those that pay a solid dividend are (generally) healthy companies with lotsa cash in their coffers.

But past that, there has never been any explanation why the FF strategy will work. Why should these various calculations produce a winning strategy. Jason Zweig in his infamous '99 Money article titled, False Profits, explains a more detailed confusion:
http://money.cnn.com/1999/08/01/zweig_on_funds/hogwash/
Quote:
Why on earth should the square root of a stock's current price (divided into its yield or anything else) affect its future return? Why would anyone in his right mind drop the stock that scores highest for a desirable quality but keep those that score second through fifth? (The Motley Fool folks assert that the single lowest-priced stock can be "dangerous," since it's often financially troubled; but they don't explain why the stocks whose prices are right behind it should be any safer. And they say a stock's volatility is generally affected by its price, but they offer no reason why this should be true for the Dow.)

In short, the Foolish Four is investment hogwash in its purest form. Just as we can "predict" yesterday's weather with 100% accuracy, we already know exactly which stocks outperformed in the past. If we look long enough, we can find some attribute they share--but it's far more likely to be a complete coincidence than an actual cause of their high returns.


John mentioned something in his second post that helps. Cause and effect. Any time this (and all the other) mechanical strategy was questioned at TMF, the popular response, from the "knowledgeable" folks was, "Just follow the screen". Never an explanation as to why "these cockamamie contortions add up to a rational hypothesis." (W. Bernstein quote)
Quote:
It takes a long time to verify that a strategy works and there are problems with popularity

This also brings up two other issues. First the obvious issue of when a strategy becomes popular, it ceases to outperform. (cannot recall who's quote that is).
The other is that this wasn't a strategy that existed, was invested in for 25 years or so, then the data were revealed. No, this was back-tested, someone was looking for common denominators among outperforming stocks. Thousands of strategies were prolly looked at. The FF's combinations clicked, after the fact, and voila - the key to riches for all! There were others with successful back-tested results, like the Bangladesh butter strategy, the Superbowl winner strategy, etc.

If you ever watch sporting events, they love throwing up statistics. Trivial statistics. I love them. Something like the Lambeau curse, that anytime the Green Bay Packers played at Lambeau field when the temperature was 32 degrees or lower, they were, what, 32 and 0. Was it something special about these 53 men (which were not the same 53 men in every game due to retirements, free agents, injuries, etc) that when the temps hit freezing, they played better than the other 53 men on the other team? Never mind that many of the players (if not all) grew up somewhere other than in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Recently, the Lambeau spell was broken, and the "Pack" actually lost under those conditions - a couple times actually. But this shows that these and other falsely determined conclusions, fail in the long-term.

But my point is that the effect was not a result of what some thought was the cause. There may be a cause, but it is unknown. It is (or more precisely was) randon, IMHO.

Bookm



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ben
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well said bookm! Very Happy



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JWR1945
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I asked:
Quote:
I have read a lot of complaints about the Foolish Four investment strategy. Now that I know what it is, I want to know what people are complaining about. Is their complaint about the strategy? Or is their complaint about the sales pitch?

My impression is that Ben and Bookm have described the most important point. The rationale supporting the Foolish Four insulted their intelligence.

From Bookm:
Quote:
But past that, there has never been any explanation why the FF strategy will work. Why should these various calculations produce a winning strategy..
..
John mentioned something in his second post that helps. Cause and effect. Any time this (and all the other) mechanical strategy was questioned at TMF, the popular response, from the "knowledgeable" folks was, "Just follow the screen". Never an explanation as to why "these cockamamie contortions add up to a rational hypothesis." (W. Bernstein quote)
..
But my point is that the effect was not a result of what some thought was the cause. There may be a cause, but it is unknown. It is (or more precisely was) random, IMHO.

This was aggravated by an intensely emotional, hostile posting environment.
From hocus2004
Quote:
My guess is that you are probably right that there are some good points to the Foolish Four strategy. The "problem" arose when DataSnooper questioned the merits of the claims that Motley Fool had made on behalf of the strategy. The reaction of defenders of the Foolish Four was intensely emotional..
..
There were always reasonable arguments in favor of the Foolish Four strategy, just as there have always been arguments in favor of investing in S&P stocks at times of high valuation. The problem in both cases is that those who are strong defenders of the Foolish Four and those who are strong defenders of the conventional SWR methodology both are highly emotional about their pet investment ideas. So both respond with intense anger at any questions raised about these approaches...

My interpretation is that supporters of the Foolish Four very much wanted it to be as good as advertised but could not defend it intellectually.

I have found it worthwhile to pay attention when people are highly emotional. The reason for their behavior can be important even if they do not understand why. OTOH, I have found that such people can be dead wrong on just about everything. Sometimes, all of their facts are wrong.

Have fun.

John R.


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NeuroFool
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some comments on the FF strategy that I didn't see when I skimmed this thread...

The FF strategy required making buy or sell decisions in January. There was no rationale for why January was different for any other month, other than the data was best for a January start datee.

Datasnooper went on to show that if you chose any other start month, the FF strategy did not work. In addition, there was no relationship between return and start month, meaning if January was the month with the greatest average returns (as far as using that month to make keep/ditch decisions) that it would be expected that December and February would be similar to january. But this was not the case. There was no general trend of any kind based on the chosen month. He argued that there was no reason to suspect that there was something special about January that distinguished it from December and February. He attributed the FF backstudy results to datamining, meaning in this case a random occurence that came out of the monthly data with no reason to suspect it would continue in the future.

I was a victim of the FF strategy. I have learned a lot from my failed experience, and from datasnoopers (and others') posts on the subject. I was luckly that my absolute dollar amount invested in the strategy was minimal...overall I learned a good (relatively cheap) lesson and am a better investor for it.


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hocus2004
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Datasnooper went on to show that if you chose any other start month, the FF strategy did not work."

That is why I consider Datasnooper a hero to the community of people who use discussion boards to learn about investing stratagies. It's easy to say today that the claims made by the Gardners for the Foolish Four were obviously absurd. It wasn't nearly so easy to take that view back at the time that Datasnooper put it forward. The Motley Fool site was extremely popular in those days, and Datasnooper took on a lot of heat for letting people know that the emperor was wearing no clothes. He was paid not a dime for doing this. He did it for love of the community and love of the truth. We all owe him big time for the hard work he did on our behalf.

There is a "January Effect" in regard to the SWR study published at RetireEarlyHomePage.com too. Intercst says that a 74 percent stock allocation is "optimal," according to the historical data. He says that any investor using a lower stock allocation delays his retirement date by doing so. But he uses only data from January in his study. BenSolar took a look at what happens when you take into account data from the other months, and he found that the "optimal" stock allocation goes down to 50 percent when you do so. Intercst's response was to refer to BenSolar as a "dimwit" in future references to him.

The REHP study is more dangerous than the Foolish Four stratagy was, in my view. Anyone using the REHP study with the thought that it offers an informed and realistic assessment of what the historical data says is taking on a serious risk of suffering a busted retirement. I believe that we all have not only a right but an obligation to let fellow community members know of the many analytical flaws present in the study. The fact that so much heat is directed at those who report accurately what the historical study says makes it all the more imperative that responsible community members speak up rather than let the impression grow that we all have been intimidated into silence.

"I was a victim of the FF strategy. I have learned a lot from my failed experience, and from datasnoopers (and others') posts on the subject."

A lot of people will be learning a lot about the realities of SWRs in days to come. My hope is that it will be possible for a good number to learn what they need to know prior to suffering the sorts of life setbacks from which it is hard to recover. The time for a learning experience re SWRs is now, before the worst of the damage done by conventional methodology studies is entered into the record books.


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JWR1945
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find NeuroFool's experience to be very interesting.
Quote:
I was a victim of the FF strategy. I have learned a lot from my failed experience, and from datasnoopers (and others') posts on the subject. I was lucky that my absolute dollar amount invested in the strategy was minimal...overall I learned a good (relatively cheap) lesson and am a better investor for it.
From what I had read, I had expected this to be atypical. Those who stuck with the strategy should have done better, possibly ending up with a net gain over five years.

From pages 16 and 17 of the paper that Alec linked to: Mining Fool's Gold, February 1999, by Grant McQueen and Steven Thorley.
Quote:
A third out-of-sample test is to look at returns since the Foolish Four was discovered. Unfortunately, with only a few years since the book's publication, a full statistical test is powerless. For what it is worth, we can look at 1994 to the middle of 1998 (the time period of this tome) as anecdotal evidence. In 1994, the Foolish Four lost money in a year that the Dow 30 was up. Then in 1995, 1996 and 1997, the Foolish Four beat the Dow 30. So far (as of the end of July 1998), the Foolish Four has not faired well in 1998, up only 4.5 percent whereas the Dow 30 is up 14.2 percent as reported by the Fools.
Of course, none of this comes anywhere close to matching the overall market in 1994-1998.

It may be that NeuroFool's experience was much closer to the norm as more and more people abandoned the strategy as they became aware of holes in its rationale.

In addition, I thank NeuroFool for providing an outstanding two paragraph summary of why the Foolish Four's numbers could never be trusted.

Have fun.

John R.


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JWR1945
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hocus2004
Quote:
A lot of people will be learning a lot about the realities of SWRs in days to come. My hope is that it will be possible for a good number to learn what they need to know prior to suffering the sorts of life setbacks from which it is hard to recover. The time for a learning experience re SWRs is now, before the worst of the damage done by conventional methodology studies is entered into the record books.

I agree.

Have fun.

John R.


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Bookm
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It really was unfortunate that Neurofool learned a lesson with his own money, yet fortunate that the amount involved wasn't a larger percentage of his portfolio.

From John:
Quote:
My interpretation is that supporters of the Foolish Four very much wanted it to be as good as advertised but could not defend it intellectually.

I have found it worthwhile to pay attention when people are highly emotional. The reason for their behavior can be important even if they do not understand why. OTOH, I have found that such people can be dead wrong on just about everything. Sometimes, all of their facts are wrong.

Good points above. The second bolded scenario usually ends up being a lost cause. But even in cases where there are accurate facts presented, the problem is when the conclusion doesn't follow those facts. A white paper by David Loeper on active vs passive management addressed what he consideres less than objective research:
http://www.financeware.com/ruminations/WP_Active_vs_Passive.pdf
Quote:
When a conclusion is drawn based on data that might be evidence (or is unknown to be evidence), it fails the basic tenets of science. Science follows the law of causality. If one does not know whether the data is a definitive result of a specific cause, one cannot draw a definitive conclusion from it. In science, such observations are anecdotal, or at best a theory yet to be proven.

Bookm



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hocus2004
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a helpful link, Bookm. Thanks for posting it.

Here's just one passage from it that I like: "Where the argument falls apart is when we take these explicit facts and cross the boundary into drawing a conclusion that could only be implicitly argued. The presenter of the argument is asking you to accept his inferences, things that are not proven or stated, things for which there are numerous questions for which facts have not been presented, and accept these inferences with the same level of respect as you would the explicit facts. Think about the statement and examine it from a scientific perspective instead of an advocate's 'pitch.' "


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NeuroFool
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bookm wrote:
It really was unfortunate that Neurofool learned a lesson with his own money, yet fortunate that the amount involved wasn't a larger percentage of his portfolio.


Well here's the thing...I didn't really LOSE much money compared to the SP500. The actual investment of 4 stocks I owned from the FF did relatively (compared to the market) well. But the problem was that it WASN'T a small part of my portfolio...it was my ENTIRE portfolio. It was my first ever investment. It represented the first dollars I had after college once I paid off CC debt. I bought the hype and thought I could just follow the FF method and get 12-20% returns forever. I was greedy, and the FF told me what I wanted to hear.

The tragedy wasn't the investment directly, it was the MESSAGE. Think of all the energy expended as I read post after post which asked whether you should buy on Jan 2 or Jan 3...or what if Jan 2 was a Sunday...could you buy instead on Dec 31st? The point is, I SHOULD have been learning about how to build a well diversified portfolio of index funds, as well as understanding the risks inherent in equity investing, etc, rather than trying to learn the tiny details of a flawed strategy.

My first investments, albeit small, should have been in a ROTH Ira in a balanced index fund. Not at a discount broker buying $200 each of Kodak, SBC, Caterpillar and International Paper.

I learned the lesson that 1) beware of claims that sound too good to be true (Crush the market in 15 minutes a year!), 2) make sure you pay attention to all sides of the debate and do your homework! and 3) as always, slow and steady wins the race.

It was reading books by Bogle and Bernstein and others that allowed me to step back and learn more about the methods that various people use to collect data, and implicit assumptions. I learned that I was capable of studying investing from an academic standpoint, and that analysts' predictions were nearly worthless. I learned that you need to look globally for investing lessons...to see the realm of possibilities, good and bad, that befall markets and economies. I learned that as far as "set it and forget it" investment strategies go, the FF was not THE way to go.

If I had had more money, it would have all gone to the FF. Overall I'm lucky that a market downturn soon after my first purchases, together with comments from datasnooper and other's forced me to REALLY investigate, and ultimately provided me with the knowlegde to do things in a much more educated way.

The FF DID teach me the merits of dividends, and the role of high yielding stocks in a portfolio, and the importance of dividend yields for the market as a whole.


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hocus2004
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Joined: 10 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You make a number of good points in that post, NeuroFool. Thanks for putting it up.


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Alec
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 7:41 am    Post subject: I like this quote Reply with quote

I like this quote:
Quote:
Everything that has happened at least once never happened until it happened. There is an enormous difference between something that rarely occurs and something that cannot occur.


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Bookm
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Location: Norfolk, VA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hocus2004 wrote:
Here's just one passage from it that I like: "Where the argument falls apart is when we take these explicit facts and cross the boundary into drawing a conclusion that could only be implicitly argued. The presenter of the argument is asking you to accept his inferences, things that are not proven or stated, things for which there are numerous questions for which facts have not been presented, and accept these inferences with the same level of respect as you would the explicit facts. Think about the statement and examine it from a scientific perspective instead of an advocate's 'pitch.' "

Hmmm. How is it that I know why that paragraph appeals to you? Wink But I agree, that is a very meaningful passage. Those with some knowledge in statistics know all this already. Some of us (or maybe just me) are still catching up.

Bookm



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Bookm
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Joined: 27 Nov 2002
Posts: 36
Location: Norfolk, VA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeuroFool, I apologize for blabbing without knowing all the facts. BTW, that was an excellent post.

Bookm



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