Alas, no. These factors certainly moved financial markets in February. We're happy to report that all our mandates increased in value this month and, yes, upbeat financial news certainly made things easier. We just don't think this is how we create value for our clients. You didn't really entrust us with your funds in order that we should navigate the incessant flow of financial news, did you?
Four months ago, I quoted the late Paul Samuelson as saying that the stock market has forecast nine of the last five recessions. If you look at stock price movements from day to day, the real figure is probably a lot higher. With every dire report of deteriorating trade relations or incomprehensible tweets, there is always the possibility that extrapolating provides the best guess. And if things really go wrong ...
“We’re happy to report that all our mandates increased in value this month.”
Every so often, it is evident that markets are gripped by fear. Here's a bit of statistical fun derived from the Norwegian benchmark index OSEBX: If, somehow, you lined up all the worst index days in a row, you would have lost 75 per cent of your investment in just two weeks. Quite a few predictions of a recession just there.
On the other hand, or rather at the other end of the scale, you would have tripled your money in a mere 12 days of statistical euphoria.
Extremely unlikely? Of course. That's just the point: Market movements often reveal expectations of an extremely unlikely turn of events. There's a hint of extrapolation in quite a few days of trading.
So, no, we don't think this month, enjoyable as it may have been, is a good cause for celebration. Then again, we are likely to tell you that the next month of heavy losses is no reason for mourning.
It's all part of the game.