Tuesday 2011-03-08

Investment Fables by Aswath Damodaran

Damodaran a few of the quant bibles out there, so while this book does the same job as WhatWorksOnWallStreet, it goes in-depth to explain the rationales behind various investment ideas, e.g. explaining basic accounting where needed. Damodaran shows that multifactor models do better at predicting future price appreciation, although he doesn't provide a summary table of results.

I think he did that because any winning investment philosophy will become a losing investment philosophy when followed dogmatically. That's just a hunch, though.

Tom Peters, in his widely read book on excellent companies a few years ago, outlined some of the qualities that he believed separated excellent companies from the rest of the market. Without contesting his standards, Michelle Clayman went through the perverse exercise of finding companies that failed on each of the criteria for excellence....
An investment of $100 in unexcellent companies in 1981 would have grown to $298 by 1986 (~21.84% p.a.), whereas $100 invested in excellent companies would have grown to only $182 (~11.98% p.a.).
-- Chapter 6
maybe that time-period was cherry-picked; makes you wonder why Damodaran called it perverse ;)