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Passive Investing Quotes

"Properly measured, the average actively managed dollar must underperform the average passively managed dollar, net of costs. Empirical analyses that appear to refute this principle are guilty of improper measurement."  William F. Sharpe, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 1990.  The Arithmetic of Active Management, The Financial Analysts' Journal Vol. 47, No. 1, January/February 1991. pp. 7-9


"The deeper one delves, the worse things look for actively managed funds." Bernstein, William The Intelligent Asset Allocator


"This message (that attempting to beat the market is futile) can never be sold on Wall Street because it is in effect telling stock analysts to drop dead." Paul Samuelson, Ph.D., Nobel Prize laureate.


Q. So investors shouldn't delude themselves about beating the market? A. "They're just not going to do it. It's just not going to happen." Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2002.  Investors Can't Beat Market, Jan 2, 2002.


"If there's 10,000 people looking at the stocks and trying to pick winners, one in 10,000 is going to score, by chance alone, a great coup, and that's all that's going on. It's a game, it's a chance operation, and people think they are doing something purposeful... but they're really not."  Miller, Merton Nobel Laureate and Professor of Economics, Univ. of Chicago, 2000.


"It's human nature to find patterns where there are none and to find skill where luck is a more likely explanation (particularly if you're the lucky [mutual fund] manager)." Mutual fund manager performance does not persist and the return of stock picking is zero." Bernstein, William.   The Intelligent Asset Allocator.


"It's just not true that you can't beat the market. Every year about one-third of the fund managers do it. Of course, each year it is a different group." Stovall, Robert , Investment Manager, 2002.


"Most investors, both institutional and individual, will find that the best way to own common stocks ("shares") is through an index fund that charges minimal fees. Those following this path are sure to beat the net results (after fees and expenses) of the great majority of investment professionals." - Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway letter to shareholders 1996


"Why does indexing outmaneuver the best minds on Wall Street? Paradoxically, it is because the best and brightest in the financial community have made the stock market very efficient. When information arises about individual stocks or the market as a whole, it gets reflected in stock prices without delay, making one stock as reasonably priced as another. Active managers who frequently shift from security to security actually detract from performance [compared to an index fund] by incurring transaction costs." Burton G. Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street.


All the time and effort people devote to picking the right fund, the hot hand, the great manager have, in most cases, led to no advantage." and "Most individual investors would be better off in an index mutual fund." Peter Lynch.  "Beat the Street", Simon and Schuster, 1993, p. 60.


"... skepticism about past returns is crucial. The truth is, much as you may wish you could know which funds will be hot, you can't -- and neither can the legions of advisers and publications that claim they can. That's why building a portfolio around index funds isn't really settling for average. It's just refusing to believe in magic." Bethany McLean.  "The Skeptic's Guide to Mutual Funds," Fortune Magazine,March 15, 1999.


"Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny should take a few pointers from the managed fund industry [and it's fund managers]. All three are trying to pull off elaborate hoaxes. But while Santa and the bunny suffer the derision of eight year olds everywhere, actively-managed stock funds still have an ardent following among otherwise clear-thinking adults. This continued loyalty amazes me. Reams of statistics prove that most of the fund industry's stock pickers fail to beat the market. For instance, over the 10 years through 2001, U.S. stock funds returned 12.4% a year, vs. 12.9% for the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index." Jonathan Clements.  Only Fools Fall in ... Managed Funds?, Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2002


Michael Drew and Jon Stanford, academics and economists, wrote the paper ‘Returns from Investing in Australian Equity Superannuation Funds, 1991 - 1999' that was published in the Services Industry Journal in 2003.  They found that there was ‘no evidence that active fund management adds value' and ‘the market for equities in Australia appears to be remarkably efficient'. 


As Buffett said in the 1993 annual report of Berkshire Hathaway, "By periodically investing in an index fund, the know-nothing investor can actually out-perform most investment professionals."


"If you go through life convinced that your way is always best, all the new ideas in the world will pass you by."  Morita Akio, Founder & CEO, Sony Corporation


"Don't try to buy at the bottom and sell at the top. It can't be done except by liars."

Bernard Baruch


"I favour passive investing for most investors, because markets are amazingly successful devices for incorporating information into stock prices."  Merton Miller.  Nobel Laureate in Economics, 1985.


"Properly Measured, the average actively managed dollar must underperform the average passively managed dollar, net of costs.  Empirical analyses that appear to refute this principal are guilty of improper measurement."  William Sharpe, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 1990.