Still not convinced that the big returns you occasionally see from stock pickers and fund managers are the result of luck rather than skill? A Russian financial magazine reported this month that it has identified a money manager whose extraordinary stock picking beat more than 94% of professional fund managers last year.
Her name is Lusha, and she’s a circus chimpanzee.
At the beginning 2009, the magazine’s editors presented Lusha with 30 cubes on which were written the names of stocks. They asked her to choose eight of them, and her picks tripled in value during the year. According to a report in the UK’s Daily Mail, Lusha focused her picks on banks, a shrewd forecast. Her play on mining resulted in a return of more than 150%, though she missed out on the telecommunications sector, which rose 250% during the year.
Apparently Russian fund managers are not amused: “’If the experiment had taken place a year earlier, the monkey would not have had enough money to pay for her bananas,” one fumed. We beg to differ: if Lusha was charging her clients a management fee of 2.5%, we think she’d have done just fine.