One of my fave reads this weekend has been Matt Levine’s take on the death of the paid stock-picking profession. This “death” is, of course, exaggerated, and stock-picking will almost certainly make a comeback during the next period of flattish markets – right around the time that the last investor piles into an index fund.
But still, these guys are becoming like knife-sharpeners or paperboys. But their protestations grow ever-quainter in today’s modern age of newfangled datatology and numberology and cellular telephones and what-have-you.
The other day, WSJ ran an article about a long-standing value stock fund and its manager, Wally Weitz. He’s eking out a living in the heartland, beating the markets over the last three years, while underperforming over the last ten, and all the while charging a premium fee structure because, well, tradition. It makes absolutely no sense at all and yet we’re supposed to be wistful about it. Cue Springsteen and some overwrought analogies about the rusted pickup trucks along I-87.
Rather than send you over to the source material, I’m sending you to Matt’s deconstruction because it’s hilarious and true: