Thursday, January 25, 2007

Another case for indexing

Another voice joining the chorus in favour of indexed portfolios, as opposed to constantly trying to beat the market.

This time, the voice belongs to Henry Blodget -- former Merrill Lynch analyst who made a name for himself as a tech guru during the boom, but was chopped down as a pariah in the bloodbath that followed.

In his recent article on Slate, Blodget urges investors to stop trying to pick individual stocks that will beat the market, because the vast, vast majority of people will fail.

The reasons he offers are nothing new -- it's very hard for a layman to outsmart the collective wisdom of Mr. Market, and even if (s)he does, once trading costs are factored in any small gains are wiped out.

Yet, we all try, don't we? Blodget's piece offers a reason:

The problem for investors is that even though stock-picking usually hurts returns, it's extremely interesting and fun.

Ain't that the truth.

Just some food for thought if you're wondering where to stash that cash you've squirreled away this RRSP season. If you're smarter than the average bear, best of luck to you. But the vast majority of us are better off indexing.

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