I came across this webcast from Merrill Lynch this morning. This panel discussion includes Meir Statman, a professor at Santa Clara University, and author of What Investors Really Want about how we behave as investors and the real-world implications of behavioral finance, and Bill Gross, a founder of PIMCO, the Newport Beach-California-based investing giant, and perhaps the leading expert on government and corporate debt investing. While there is nothing terribly surprising here if you are familiar with these guys, it’s a useful discussion and both Statman and Gross are articulate presenters.
The title of this series of webcasts is The New Financial Conservatism and this specific discussion is called What Investors Really Feel and How They Can Move Forward. The thrust of the discussion is that investors are feeling nervous and risk averse, but that we need to separate our nerves from a realistic assessment of what history has taught us. People were feeling really scared in early 2009 and lots of investors pulled out of the market just in time to miss the rally.
A transcript of the roundtable discussion is available as well.
A few highlights:
- 8 minutes in – Meir Statman on risk: “We think of risk as volatility. [But] the risk is not being able to achieve your goals.”
- 25 minutes in – Panel discusses demographics and to what extent they impact the markets.
- 28 minutes in – Sallie Krawcheck, who runs Merrill’s wealth management business, talks about findings from their studies of the well-to-do that 59% of men and 70% of women are concerned about being able to finance their retirement.
(An independent, in-depth Portfolioist interview with Statman will be available here Thursday as well.)