What is evidence based investing? in short it is the use of data and mathematical formula to prove a rationale for investing. The Efficient Market Hypothesis says that market prices are fair: they fully reflect all available information. This does not mean that prices are perfect; some prices may be too high and some too low, but there is no reliable way to tell. In an efficient market, investors cannot expect to earn above-average profits without assuming above-average risks. Market efficiency does not suggest that investors can’t “win.” Over any period of time, some investors will beat the market, but the number of investors who do so will be no greater than expected by chance.

Successful investing, like many things, begins in the mind…

It is important that an investor has an investment philosophy, for this guides and shapes decisions. Even if the theory is one of random chance, this would require a consistent approach to implement it. The problem with investing is that it becomes an emotional experience – and it shouldn’t. When you see your portfolio rise or fall in value, you have a gut reaction, often this is not good for you. There is a temptation to believe that beating the market is due to additional skill or knowledge, a belief forcefully proposed by active fund managers, who make their living by beating the market – or trying to. The sad reality is that few of them do (really few) and when taking a long-term perspective it is very difficult indeed to pick those Managers that can consistently outperform. Most Fund Managers don’t hang around for long, many funds get closed and when you consider the charges they apply, few (and I really mean a few) actually outperform.

Would you prefer evidence or guesswork when planning for your future?

My role is to help investors achieve the market returns for the various assets into which they invest.  The main point being that when investing your money, I do not see any advantage in putting it at additional risk. This is essentially what most investment managers have to do in order to beat the market. Economic theory has backed up and evidenced this approach over the long-term and you may have seen me recently tweet at Eugene Fama was awarded a Nobel prize for economics. His research and theory together with that of others has helped inform the research used and investment philosophy that we adopt for our clients. Here is a short video about his pioneering work.

Dominic Thomas: Solomons IFA