- The Big Picture - http://www.ritholtz.com/blog -

Top 10 Investor Errors: Asset Allocation vs Stock Picking

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On July 3, 2012 @ 9:30 am In Apprenticed Investor,Investing,Rules | Comments Disabled

Our ongoing series of common investor errors continues. We have looked at Excess Fees [1], Reaching for Yield [2]. and Behavioral Issues [3].

This morning we are going to ever so briefly look at mistake number four:

4. Asset Allocation Matters More than Stock Picking: The decisions you make as to your mix of assets has a far greater impact on your investing success than does your stock picking or market timing. This too has proven repeatedly in both academic studies and the real world.

I’ll save you the war story, but when I was on the Sell Side, I was a big Apple fan. When the first iPod came out, the company was trading at $15 (pre-split) with $13 in cash. I recommended Apple, the firm bought a ton at $15, and dumped most of it at $20 for a 33% winner.

Pretty smart, huh?

That was literally the worlds greatest stock — and it hardly mattered at all. The worlds’ greatest stock pickers all got crushed during the 2008 crisis. And a monkey could have thrown a dart at a stock list in 2009 and made a ton of money.

Consider this: If your allocation mix contained too little equities over the past few years, then you probably missed the 100% rally since stocks since March 2009. And a lack of bonds meant that during the 2008-09 crash, you had nothing protecting you as markets fell.

Stock picking is for fun. Asset allocation is for making money over the long haul.

 

Previously:
Top 10 Investor Errors
1. Excess Fees [4]
2. Reaching for Yield [2]
3. You Are Your Own Worst Enemy [3]

 

Top 10 Investor Errors
1. High Fees Are A Drag on Returns
2. Reaching for Yield
3. You (and your Behavior) Are Your Own Worst Enemy
4. Asset Allocation Matters More than Stock Picking
5. Passive vs Active Management
6. Mutual Fund vs ETFs
7. Not Understanding the Long Cycle
8. Cognitive Errors
9. Confusing Past Performance With Future Potential
10. When Paying Fees, Get What You Pay For


Article printed from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog

URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/07/asset-allocation-vs-stock-picking/

URLs in this post:

[1] Excess Fees: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/06/top-10-investor-errors-fees/

[2] Reaching for Yield: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog../2012/07/top-10-investor-errors-reaching-for-yield/

[3] Behavioral Issues: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/07/top-10-investor-errors-you-are-your-own-worst-enemy/

[4] Excess Fees: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog../2012/06/top-10-investor-errors-fees/

Copyright © 2008 The Big Picture. All rights reserved.