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Inaugural lecture Mr Prof R.M. Salomons: De waan voorbij

When:Tu 14-06-2016 at 16:15
Where:Aula Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Roelof Salomons
Roelof Salomons

Beyond the delusions: investment theory, on the road to long-term asset management

Distorted data and delusions: short-term investment is speculation, but in the long term things start to become more predictable. This is what Professor of Investment Theory and Asset Management Roelof Salomons will claim in his inaugural lecture.

A time series analysis of financial assets shows that the longer the investment horizon, the more ‘normal’ the return distribution. Returns are to some extent predictable with stock valuation methods. This predictability is because of the ‘return to trend’ in valuation variables. If we look at the price/earnings ratio, for instance, we see that high valuations are associated with low expected returns and vice versa. Although these valuations do not say anything about future profits, they do say something about returns, albeit only in the long term.

Salomons believes that extra returns can be achieved within markets too, because these are also predictable, although there is less academic consensus about this. Salomons, ‘Not all that is proven is proof.’ As we know from the theory that returns are predictable in the long term, both at the market level and within markets, and that institutional investors require long-term investments, why then is there still so much focus on the short term? Salomons argues for a return to investment that is based more on fundamental analysis and less on indices, for both long-term investment and the investor in his role as capital creator. ‘Investment is more than numbers on a spreadsheet’, says Salomons.

Further topics and propositions that will be covered:

  • If people are required to take their own responsibility, financial knowledge gains in importance
  • Salomons’ mission as a professor is to train students to become empirical critical investors who can separate fact from fiction
  • Shares are predictable: high valuations mean low returns
  • There is no link between the expected return on shares and the interest rate
  • The risk of a portfolio of undervalued shares may be lower than that of the market index; the expected return is higher at any rate
  • Return to ‘old-fashioned’ investment: a plea for the long term
  • It is questionable whether index investing reduces costs; the role of the capital creator is neglected
  • A short-term focus does not correspond with long-term requirements

Dr R.M. (Roelof) Salomons has been appointed Professor by Special Appointment in Investment Theory and Asset Management (a chair sponsored by C.R. Rao Stichting) at the Faculty of Economics and Business. He is Chief Strategist at Kempen Capital Management.

More information

Inaugural lecture: Mr Prof R.M. Salomons

Title: Leiderschap in verandering: De waan voorbij

Chair: Investment Theory and Asset Management

Faculty: Economics and Business

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