Monday, August 6, 2012

What Investment Returns Can $200 Billion Buy?

The last siren call of investment managers is an appeal to your ego.  This is how it goes:

“Yes, we know most managers fail miserably to outperform the market after they pay themselves hefty fees, but those guys are for the small accounts. You have a million dollars! This will get you access to the next level of managers.  The really good ones.”

Or: “Oh, of course, accounts below a million dollars are better off investing in asset classes, but you have 5 million dollars! We have proprietary research just for you.  Our investments trounce the market.”

Or: “Well sure, if you only had $5 million it might make sense to keep expenses low. But you have 10 million dollars! You can pay for our quantitative algorithm that picks the best stocks based on how loud Jim Cramer yells the ticker symbol.”

Joking aside.  The trend is clear and you can see the allure.  At every wealth level it seems you have just enough to get you access to the real managers.  So how do you know how much you really need to get the best managers?  Maybe there is a way to find out.  Maybe there is an investor out there so large that they trump every other investor and truly have access to the very best managers.  And maybe this investor makes their returns public so you can see exactly how well their access to the “best” managers turned out for them.