china stock market china stock market_shiller102_Zhengyi Xie/ZumaPress

De illusie van de financiële singulariteit

NEW HAVEN – In hun nieuwe boek The Incredible Shrinking Alpha beschrijven Larry E. Swedroe en Andrew L. Berkin een beleggingsklimaat dat wordt beheerst door steeds beter geïnformeerde analisten, die vertrouwen op big data, krachtige computers en wetenschappelijk onderzoek. Met al deze concurrentie “komt de lat voor het bereiken van alpha [een rendement boven een voor de risico's aangepaste benchmark – en als zodanig een maatstaf voor succes bij het maken van keuzes bij individuele beleggingen] steeds hoger en hoger te liggen.”

Deze conclusie werpt een belangrijke vraag op: Zal alpha uiteindelijk op nul uitkomen voor iedere denkbare beleggingsstrategie? En in fundamentelere zin: komt de dag naderbij dat financiële markten, dankzij zo veel slimme mensen en nóg slimmere computers, werkelijk perfect worden, en we met een gerust hart achterover kunnen leunen en ervan kunnen uitgaan dat alle aandelen correct geprijsd zijn?

Deze denkbeeldige toestand kan de financiële singulariteit worden genoemd, analoog aan de hypothetische toekomstige technologische singulariteit, wanneer computers de plaats innemen van de menselijke intelligentie. De financiële singulariteit impliceert dat je alle beleggingsbeslissingen beter aan een computerprogramma kunt overlaten, omdat de deskundigen met hun algoritmen hebben vastgesteld wat de resultaten op de markten bepaalt, waardoor ze dit alles tot een naadloos systeem hebben kunnen terugbrengen.

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