sexta-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2012

Auditoria do fundo de pensão suéco

Unga Aktiesparare, Alexandre Arnbäck, 26 November 2012

Como todos os sistemas de aposentadoria do mundo, o sueco sofreu com doze anos de mercados difíceis (bolha IT, 9/11, a crise financeira, divida do EURO e dívida pública). Muitos de nós, foram informados que "acontecimentos sem precedentes" estão colocando em risco nossas aposentadorias e poderemos ter de contribuir ainda mais, trabalhar mais ou receber menos. No rastro da crise, o governo sueco (e muitos outros), pediu uma auditoria. O país recebeu a sua auditoria eo período de feedback está quase terminado.

Read the article in English :

Like other pension systems around the world, the Swedish one has suffered from twelve years of difficult markets (IT bubble, 9/11, Financial crisis, EURO & Government debt). Many of us, have been told that “unprecedented events” are jeopardizing our pensions and we might have to contribute further, work longer or receive less. In the wake of the turmoil, our government (and many others) has asked for an audit. Sweden has received its audit and the feedback period is almost over. I am concerned and so should you be. Why? Well first of all, the vast majority of the audit committee is from the financial industry, people making money on taking commissions from our pension savings. Would you ask Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco to analyze and suggest improvements for the anti-smoking policy?

 What else? In its 622 pages, the big conclusion from the report is “unprecedented events” were unpredictable. Great! Is that not the definition of risk per say? Did we really need a group of experts and 622 pages for that? Because I can tell you we will have other unprecedented and unpredictable events in the future – that’s what the future is about.

So, 622 pages of financial mumbo-jumbo not accessible to most of us, and since the pension issue concerns all of us, let’s make it accessible. Let’s picture the financial markets as a lake, the boats are the different pension funds and the passengers are us, the workers, contributing on a monthly basis with a portion of our salary. Then, imagine a river (economic growth) pouring into the lake increasing its level.

30 years ago, pension funds, which used to invest in safe bonds, started to look at riskier assets such as equities, hoping for improved long term growth to further finance our pensions – a great idea. Then came 20 years of quite steady market increase, meaning the river was pouring enough water to increase the level of the lake. This had tremendous effects for three groups of people:

• First for us, the workers, as financial markets provided us with extra money for our pensions.
• Second for the political and administrative chiefs who tapped each other’s backs for having taken the wise decision to increase risk. • Last the financial system (banks and other money managers) because they could take more fees each year without anyone noticing since the level of the lake was increasing.

Financial companies and other banks made us believe they were the architects of that success. In our lake example, imagine captains (bankers) are able to convince passengers that the boat is floating higher not because of the tide but thanks to the fantastic technical ability of the boat they purchased wisely and piloted skillfully.

Weather is uncertain (read risk), as are financial markets. One day early 2000, the river slowed down and the level of the lake started decreasing. Unfortunately, that period lasted (and maybe still is). What happened? The passengers started worrying they might get stuck in the middle of the lake and never navigate home. The captains told them, “let’s buy better (and more expensive) boats”. No matter what they did, the level of the lake (and the boats) kept going down.

Now that the level has gone down for about twelve years, captains are feeling the heat from passenger complaints so our government asked for an audit. That audit is 622 pages long and almost no passenger can understand it. But it looks very professional, so most probably passengers will calm down and hope again the captain will be able to influence how high the boats can navigate.

Where is the catch?

Do you believe anyone could influence the weather? In financial markets it’s the same, and there is a reason for which most pension systems around the world are suffering, it’s because the tide is going down, and the captains can’t do anything about it.

What does the 622 page audit suggest? Well they more or less say that you have to switch to more modern boats. Will that increase the level of the lake? Certainly not! Will the lake tide go up? Maybe, but it will not depend on the boats or the captains.

What could the solution be? The audit suggests creating three (instead of seven) free standing pension units. Fair enough. One idea though: request that one of the three be a solid floating platform without a captain (read buy financial markets as a whole without the costs). In ten years, by comparing the three pension systems, we will know if it makes sense to continue to pay for expensive captains and ships rather than trusting the level of the lake.

It is our responsibility as workers to make sure our government and financial system treat our savings fairly. If we do not reclaim control over our drifting system, we and our children will pay the price.

Av: Alexandre Arnbäck, Financial coach and Co-Author of “Heal your investments, a story your banker will never tell you”.

quarta-feira, 18 de julho de 2012

Stress in financial sector

Dukascopy TV, Doireann Mc Dermott, Alexandre Arbäck

In this interview, Alexandre Arnbäck, co-author of heal you investments. a story your banker will never tell you, says why he think investors are stressed by the financial sector and what they should do to invest with peace of mind.

quarta-feira, 20 de junho de 2012


Antonio Delfim Netto, Folha de São Paolo

Antonio Delfim Netto commenta a entrevista ao "Spiegel Online", do grande psicólogo Daniel Kahneman, Prêmio Nobel de Economia em 2002, que sintetizou os resultados de suas pesquisas sobre a capacidade de previsão dos operadores de mercado.

quarta-feira, 30 de maio de 2012

Facing Down the Bankers

Annie Lowrey, The New York Times, 31 May 2012

Portrait of Dennis M. Kelleher, who is battling against Wall Street and its lobbys to regulate the banking system.

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segunda-feira, 21 de maio de 2012

Holder Must Appoint Special Counsel to Investigate Politically Connected Dimon, JPMorgan, Bettermarkets, 23 May 2012

Better Markets, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group promoting the public interest in financial reform, today in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder called for the appointment of a special counsel in connection with the multibillion-dollar trading loss at JPMorgan Chase & Co. to avoid conflicts of interest and ensure public trust in the American judicial system.

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quinta-feira, 17 de maio de 2012

Retirement : active or passive investments ?

Tim Grant, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 12 May 2012

Tim Grants add substance to the active versus passive debate. Why a fund manager would share his great ideas and knowledge if he really knew which investments to pick? Using his own advice would allow him to make more money than management fees according to  Adam Yofan, president of Alpern Rosenthal Financial Services.

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segunda-feira, 2 de abril de 2012

The Volcker Rule and structural issues Dennis Kelleher

How to balance the interest of society and banking or how to protect society against banking? From 1929 crash to the 2008 financial crisis : review of the regulation and deregulation of banks - causes & consequences.

segunda-feira, 19 de março de 2012

Investor fear leads to losses in 2011

Stephanie Ptak, Dalbar, March 2012

Dalbar Study:
Equity mutual fund investors gave up on the markets shortly before the year-end recovery and suffered a loss of 5.73%, compared to a 2.12% gain for the S&P 500. This erodes the long-term gains that began to recover from the devastating losses of 2008

sexta-feira, 16 de março de 2012

Goldman Sachs Resignation Letter, 16 March 2012

The New York Times published this op-ed letter “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs” by Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith.

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sexta-feira, 20 de janeiro de 2012

Confessions of a former stockaholic, 20 January 2012

This is the testimony of an investor, formerly "addicted" to the sound of media and financial markets, which eventually found safety using passive management techniques.

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sexta-feira, 6 de janeiro de 2012

Footsteps to Follow in the Coming Year

New York Times, 30 December 2011

A column that catches up with people who faced financial turning points in 2011.

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