07 março 2015

Consultores de Investimento: ninguém sabe de nada

WHENEVER one writes about the failure of active managers to beat the index, someone is bound to pop up online and argue that people don't pick fund managers at random. Select the right fund managers and all will be well. But how? Relying on past performance does not seem to work. Logic would also suggest that it cannot be easy to identify the best performers in advance; if it were, then why would anyone give money to the underperformers?

Many pension funds and endowments hire investment consultants to help them choose fund managers (one estimate is that 82% of US pension plans use such services, and consultants advise on $25 trillion of assets). The consultants employ highly-educated workforces, have decades of experience and charge hefty fees. But an award (the 2015 Commonfund prize) has just been granted to an academic paper that concludes
we find no evidence that these (the consultants') recommendations add value, suggesting that the search for winners, encouraged and guided by investment consultants, is fruitless

So why do the clients still use the consultants? One explanation is the "hand-holding principle"; choosing funds is tricky and clients feel cautious about doing it on their own. They also want someone to blame if things go wrong. Investment consultants act as "money doctors".
But the most likely reason is that clients are unaware of the conclusions of the research and because of the lack of data mentioned earlier. As the authors write
It is unlikely that plan sponsors can reliably judge whether investment consultants add value or not. While fund managers testify to the rigour with which investment consultants scrutinise their performance, investment consultants themselves are shy of disclosing the sort of information which would allow plan sponsors, or any outsider, to measure their own perfomance.
In short, while one can be willing to accept that there are smart fund managers who can outperform the market, the trick is identifying such managers in advance. This process seems as difficult as identifying hit films in advance; in that business, as William Goldman wrote once "Nobody knows anything". 

Fonte: aqui

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