THE SOUTH AFRICAN INDEX INVESTOR

“Greater rewards, lower costs”

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 Investment Philosophies, Theories and Practices (continued…)

 

Richard Bernstein’s Top Ten Investment Guidelines for Investors

 

 

Richard Bernstein, Merrill Lynch’s Chief Investment Strategist, made a list of the most important investment guidelines he has learned  after spending twenty years at the firm. He compiled the list shortly before leaving the firm.

 

 

 

1. Income is as important as capital gains. Because most investors ignore income opportunities, income may be more important than capital gains.

2. Most stock market indicators have never actually been tested. Most don’t work.

3. Most investors’ time horizons are much too short. Statistics indicate that day trading is largely based on luck.

4. Bull markets are made of risk aversion and undervalued assets. They are not made of cheering and a rush to buy.

5. Diversification doesn’t depend on the number of asset classes in a portfolio. Rather, it depends on the correlations between the asset classes in a portfolio.

6. Balance sheets are generally more important than income or cash-flow statements.

7. Investors should focus strongly on GAAP accounting and should pay little attention to “pro forma” or “unaudited” financial statements.

8. Investors should be providers of scarce capital. Return on capital is typically highest where capital is scarce.

9. Investors should research financial history as much as possible.

10. Leverage gives the illusion of wealth. Saving is wealth.