Grape expectations: Investors should not drink the Kool-Aid
Dogma, or received wisdom, can, and often does, blind the otherwise discerning investor, especially when the investor must report to institutional investors and their investment committees. “Drinking the Kool-Aid,” which usually pertains to those holding an unquestioned belief without critical examination or nuanced introspection, can also refer to endorsing knowingly or supporting reluctantly a doomed or dangerous idea because of peer pressure, so-called expert opinion, or the money management equivalent of acting in a flagrantly arbitrary and self-serving fashion. Authority trumps evidence under pressure!
This essay addresses three issues: The first is the extent to which return expectations have ratcheted downward; the second is the need to recognize and embrace these changes; and the third is how investors can still invest profitably in a maturing market. We have prepared an extensive report, portions of which this article summarizes. We invite cur