By SIMON CONSTABLE
In a recently published book, Wesley Gray, founder of Alpha Architect, poses an important question:
If God is omnipotent, could he create a long-term active investment strategy fund that was so good he could never get fired?
The stunning answer is that "God would get fired," he writes. Gray's emphasis.
He then goes on to explain why this would be so, even though God-like "perfect foresight has great returns." The reason that God would lose his job is that although the exceptional vision of the future would lead to great investing results the short-term journey to huge returns often leads to massive (temporary) losses. It's the sort of thing that gets you fired. Just like the rest of the business world, Wall Street preaches long term results but so often measures performance using short term metrics.
His analysis is detailed and clear. He's also is at pains to mention he means no offense by referring to God.
Gray's story is just one of the topics covered in a new book of essays on finance edited by veteran Wall Street investor Meb Faber. Published late July, The Best Investment Writing: Selected writing from leading investors and authors includes pieces by a host of people many of whom I know, have spoken to, or have met. Read more here.