Institutional Investors Are Delusional – Meb Faber (Hilarious)

Johnny HopkinsMeb Faber, Research, ResourcesLeave a Comment

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One of my favorite bloggers is Meb Faber @

Meb recently wrote an article called Institutional Investors Are Delusional, where he commented on a recent survey of 400+ real money institutional respondents asked to estimate the net returns they will receive from their hedge funds.

The results astounded Meb and they will astound you.

Here’s a copy of his very short article:

I was skimming this recent publication from BNY Mellon and FT remark when a particular graphic caught my eye.”

“Below is a survey from 400+ real money institutional respondents (we’re talking endowments, pension funds, insurance companies, and sovereign wealth funds).  This is their estimate of the net returns they will receive from their hedge funds:”

“1% say 6-8%”

“32% say 9-11%”

“30% say 12-14%”

“32% say 15-17%”

“5% say 18% or more”



“Assuming the middle of each range that means the institutions are expecting their hedge funds to return 13% per year.”

“Have you lost your @!$%X# mind?”

“That is the most asinine survey responses I have ever heard of but it EXPLAINS SO MUCH.  No wonder so many institutions can’t beat a 60/40 benchmark when they think that they are going to achieve 13% hedge fund returns.  Which, by the way, the hedge fund industry has only achieved TWICE in the past 16 years. 13% is about 50% higher returns than the industry has returned back to the 1990s (Barclays at 8%) and nearly THREE TIMES the returns from HFR (4%).”

“Oh, and by the way, a 13% NET return means you need to average gross returns of almost 20%.  Good luck with that. Our friend Wes [Wes Gray] has demonstrated how that is nearly impossible to achieve and sustain.”  

“This reminds me of one of my favorite Charlie Munger quotes from Tren’s book :”

“I think the reason why we got into such idiocy in investment management is best illustrated by a story that I tell about the guy who sold fishing tackle. I asked him, “My God, they’re purple and green. Do fish really take these lures?” And he said, “Mister, I don’t sell to fish.”

“I would love to know the 1% CIO that responded 6-8% returns, as most of the rest should be fired.”

Well said Meb!

Make sure you check out Meb’s website. He has loads of awesome investing articles and research papers.

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