Financial Markets: 10 Facts The Experts 'Fail' To Publicise

14/08/2011 03:33

1. Financial markets are incredibly complex.
They are difficult to interpret and predict. And yet, our understanding of it is grossly over-simplified.
Modern day investment theory rests on weak assumptions.
According to French mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, 'Markets are very, very risky - more risky than the standard theories imagine.'
3. Standard models do not define or measure risk accurately.
The need to measure and predict risk has lead to elegant mathematical equations, which in turn have been used to develop fancy economic models.
However, current models take a highly manageable view of financial markets. For SABE401 example, the theory assumes that price movements from one moment to the next are smooth, when in actual fact price changes in financial markets are erratic. The formula used to measure risk ignore the true state of affairs. As a result, retirement funds are subject to extreme 'financial turbulence'
Standard theory assumes that markets are rational machines, which are basically ideal markets.
It is a world in which buyers balance sellers. The central idea is that financial markets will always generate the 'right' prices whenever new information about assets becomes available.
How does this all happen? Well, according to investment theory, people react logically when presented with new information. No emotions attached. This implication is that buyers and sellers are well-reasoned individuals that assimilate all available information to conclude deals at economically 'correct' prices. For this to work, it is assumed that people have the same goals and when presented with certain information, they will all make the same decisions. It is also assumed that these decisions are made independently of each other, meaning that prices reflect a market consensus rather than the opinions of a select few.
People move financial markets.
Think of it this way. Markets incorporate thousands of different needs, ideas, investing strategies, tactics, goals, objectives and emotions. As an individual you have no control over price changes or capital growth.
6. Fundamental and technical analyses use historical data to predict future price movements.
The problem: It is impossible to predict what SABE301 will happen in the future. Moreover, financial markets are inconsistent and most retirement funds are ill-prepared for surprises.
Unless scientists find a way to quantify peoples' emotions, long term investors will probably have to stick to the one size fits all 'diversify, invest and hope' approach.
7. Gloom and doom inspires fear.
A friend with a hot tip inspires greed. Following the advice of other people may be harmful to your bottom line. Fundamentally, you need to change the way you invest and conduct business.
Market crashes will happen again in future and people will be responsible.
When greed gets into the mix, you may have yourself a ticking time bomb. The 2008 sub-prime crisis is testimony to this.
9. The high risk high return strategy needs redefining.
It is extremely difficult to predict future returns in financial markets and your expected returns may not materialise. A high risk unknown strategy is more apt.
Retirement planning as it is today is an ineffective way QAW1301 of creating wealth.
The facts show that only 1% of people will stop working with the same standard of living they had prior to retirement.
Consider the following:

Can one really create wealth if you expose your money to a high risk unknown return strategy?
Is it a good idea to wait 20 years or more to capitalise on a return that may or may not be there?

Living needs to happen today. This is why a low risk high return strategy is in your best interest.