Monday, 25 March 2013

Quote for the day

"The stock market is filled with individuals who know the price of everything, but the value of nothing." -  Philip Fisher

LSL Market Review 25th Mar 2013


Indices dropped on profit taking on retail heavy counters. National Development Bank declared a final dividend of Rs. 10.00 but its share price didn’t show a marked improvement as the current market price had already factored-in its fair value. The share price of Ceylon Tobacco saw a drop during late trading. Yields on treasuries rose in today’s auction which could also contributed to the negative sentiment.

ASI dipped 23.33 points (0.40%) to close at 5,745.55 and the S&P SL20 index lost 16.30 points (0.49%) to close at 3,296.41. Turnover was Rs. 353.4Mn

Top contributors to turnover were Sampath Bank with Rs. 76.4Mn, Asian Hotels & Properties with Rs. 52.6Mn and National Development Bank with Rs. 42.5Mn. Most active counters for the day were National Development Bank, Nation Lanka Finance and Ceylon Grain Elevators.

Notable gainers for the day were Kotagala plantations-rights up by 33.3% to close at Rs. 8.00, Mahaweli Reach Hotel up by 7.7% to close at Rs. 21.00 and Ceylon Grain Elevators up by 6.5% to close at Rs. 50.60. Notable losers for the day were      Citrus Leisure- warrant 19 down by 3.9% to close at Rs. 2.50, Browns Investments down by 2.9% to close at Rs. 3.30 and Asiri Surgical down by 2.1% to close at Rs. 9.40.

Cash map for today was 60.21%. Foreign participation was 15.34% of total market turnover whilst net foreign buying was Rs. 101.61Mn.

Why Being Smart Is Your Biggest Handicap in Investing


"Some people are born smart. 
Some people are born lucky. 
Some people are smart enough to be born lucky."

- Ed Seykota

Are you smart? Did you do well in school? Well, I have news for you…

By being “smart,” you suffer from a huge handicap in becoming a profitable trader…

If intelligence were the key, every finance student who graduated with a PhD from Stanford or MIT who tried his hand at trading would be filthy rich…

And unless they happen to be savvy poker players with a strong dose of practical, hard-earned street smarts, they probably aren't...

Understanding why this is the case can help you make -- or better yet, help you keep -- your hard-earned investment profits in the market...

You've heard this story before...

Picture this...

You are a financial analyst at a top investment bank...

You recently graduated from Harvard Business School and all your friends and family think you’re pretty smart.

After all, you always won all of the spelling bees and math contests that you entered since you were a kid -- and you got great grades in college while most of your peers slacked off...

So you research a red-hot Chinese Internet stock IPO. You speak to the management. You run your complex financial models. You value the company at $14 share.

You write a “BUY” recommendation. This is then distributed to your employer's leading institutional clients, who are responsible for investing tens of billions of dollars in the global financial markets.

After the company is listed, the stock shoots up to $24.00. If anything, your valuation makes you look overly conservative...

Then the stock starts dropping. Within five days, the stock is down to $14, and then falls further to $10.

You run your models. You still come up with the $14 target price.

The stock is now at $8... one third of its peak trading price from just a month ago -- and almost half of your current valuation...

But as an analyst, you “know” the stock is worth $14. You'll do anything to avoid admitting that you're “wrong.”

This story has been repeated thousands of times on Wall Street. In fact, this anecdote recounts the recent fate of RenRen (RENN) -- The “Facebook of China.”

The stock was a hot IPO a month ago, soaring on its first day of trading. Then it promptly fell off the table.

The “Tiny Flaw” in Smart People

Smart people have a tiny little flaw in them that makes them highly unsuitable to be traders and investors…

Consider the results of an experiment conducted by “Trader Vic” Sperandeo… one of the top traders profiled in the original “Market Wizards” book by Jack Schwager.

Having been entrusted with building a trading operation, “Trader Vic” hired and trained 38 traders.

He assembled a diverse group, as he wanted to find out whether there was any correlation between intelligence and trading success...

The results were revealing...

Five of the 38 traders made more money than the others combined...

One of the five who made it was a high school dropout who, according to Sperandeo, “didn’t even know the alphabet.”

One who made no money in five years had an IQ of 188 and was a champion on Jeopardy.

Why? The “smart” traders could never bring themselves to admit that they were wrong.

Many Smart People = Big Problems

Get enough “smart” people together in a room and you can bring the global financial system to the brink of collapse...

That's precisely what happened with Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) in 1998.

LTCM was founded by a top Salomon Brothers trader and two Nobel Prize winners, Robert Merton of Harvard, and Myron Scholes of Stanford.

LTCM was the most successful hedge fund of its day, generating consistent 40% annual returns over several years… compared with the long-term track records of Warren Buffett and George Soros of around 30% at the time.

The LTCM geniuses were much smarter than Soros or Buffett… at least for a while…

The flaw was that LTCM was leveraged between 200 and 300 times (up to almost $500 billion dollars) on a capital base of about $2 billion…

...and the fund collapsed overnight after the devaluation of the Russian ruble in 1998.

Wall Street knew that these guys were the smartest guys in the room...

What they didn't know was that “being smart” was precisely their problem...

In reality, LTCM knew less about managing risk than a good poker player, who knows not to ever go “all in” on any single hand that could wipe him out...

But back to the flaw in smart people…

Smart people LOVE information!

They think information -- and ever more complex financial models -- are the key to making correct investment decisions.

And the more information you have, the better decisions you make.

But here’s the reality:

There’s always more to know...

And the more complex the model, the less “robust” or accurate it is...

The real problem, however, is psychology.

Smart people have a bad case of what trading psychologists call “need-to-understand” bias and “need-to-be-right” bias.

That's why, after making an initial recommendation, they spend most of their energy proving that they were right in the first place...

The Lesson You Should Learn...

So, here is the irony: being a “smart” analyst often makes you the worst trader.

And don’t be overly impressed with an analyst's employer or academic credentials.

George Soros failed his Charted Financial Analyst (CFA) exams twice… and gave up…

Warren Buffett was rejected by Harvard Business School…

Meanwhile, an analyst at a top investment bank may -- unlike George Soros -- pass her CFA exams on the first try.

But that has nothing to do with her ability to manage money, especially if she spends all her energy trying to prove that her analysis deserves an “A” -- the same grade she got on her thesis at Princeton.

More importantly, don’t be too impressed with your own “analysis” either.

Never bet too big on any single idea, no matter how compelling the story... and always have your exits in place…

That is, unless, you were -- as Ed Seykota says: “smart enough to be born lucky.”
Published on 15/06/2011
Nicholas A. Vardy
Editor, The Global Guru
http://www.nicholasvardy.com