“There is nothing so disturbing to one’s well–being and judgment as to see a friend get rich.“查尔斯·P. 金德尔伯格，《博天堂注册》一书的作者
看到朋友发财是很困难的, 还有《攀比,” some people take on high risk with a low probability of success. This effort to take a small amount of money and grow the capital base aggressively is called speculation. 投资, 另一方面, is an effort to grow money relatively slowly in a methodical manner or prevent a lot of money from becoming a little (i.e., creating income or growing the capital base slowly through reinvestment of proceeds).
Several prominent economists have commented on the difference between speculation and investment. 亚当•斯密, in his Magnum Opus Wealth of Nations wrote that speculation is less about investment and more about a businessman’s willingness to pursue short-term opportunities for profits, which contrasts with a standard businessman who makes consistent longer-term investments in his business ventures. John Maynard Keynes said that while investors look at forecasting the prospective returns of assets over the entire life cycle, 投机者倾向于观察市场的心理.
当你想象一个投机者, you probably envision someone like Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street who famously said “Greed, 因为找不到更好的词了, 是好的.” Despite the sometimes negative image portrayed in popular media, speculators are actually a very important part of the market function when they’re acting prudently and taking on calculated risks.
例如, 没有投机者, we would have a lot of sad farmers when commodities prices plunge out of nowhere. 在这种情况下, 农民有许多商品, 无论是玉米、棉花还是大豆, 他们想要出售. 不幸的是, 他们无法出售，因为价格暴跌, 他们将无法盈利. So, speculators will help them out by making bets on whether commodities will rise or fall; by making this speculation, they allow these farmers to hedge out their exposure to commodity crisis.
As demonstrated above, rational speculation can contribute to a healthy market. Irrational speculation, however, frequently devolves into a financial crisis – why?
有人会认为，美联储(Federal Reserve)才是驱动因素. There 是好的 reason to suggest that their loose money policy has embedded some speculative dynamics over the last few decades. 在我们看来, that is a bit of a recency bias because anyone would be hard-pressed to suggest they are responsible in general for speculation, 因为它已经存在了几百年了, 即使不是几千年.
真正的驱动因素很简单:人类行为. 像旅鼠一样，人类也喜欢像人群一样行事. When some people jump, other people say “yes, I’ll fall into that hole with you.” Rewards of the bubble make people cognitively dissonant until the greatest fool buys the product for the highest price. 非理性投机的事件顺序是这样的:
- 当一个新想法形成时，需求超过了供给，所以价格上涨. A few recent examples of novel ideas are “clicks and eyeballs” or “housing prices have never gone down en masse across the entire country.”
- 为了满足需求的增加，生产者增加供应. 令人惊讶的是, increases in demand stay consistently ahead of the supply increases, 价格还在继续上涨.
- “新范式”形成了; people who used to distrust speculation now embrace it. The popular consensus is that there’s a great reason for the new paradigm, 这次不一样了.
- 市场不再有效. People are buying in the hopes that they can sell to some “greater fool.”
- 需求枯竭. 最大的傻瓜购买，耗尽潜在买家的资源.
- 价格下降. If you have a very liquid asset, such as stocks, the fall comes very quickly. If it’s something less liquid like real estate, then the fall takes more time. 然后, we get the reverse situation where everybody else realizes that they spent way too much on the item.
而人们喜欢将泡沫归咎于美联储, the reality is that this phenomenon has been going on for much longer than the Federal Reserve has existed.
纵观历史，投机泡沫时有发生. Below, you can see some examples from a 375-year period, the early 1600s through the late 1900s. The important point here is that they cover all kinds of geographies and all kinds of assets. We have coins; the famous tulip mania in Holland; lotteries; new companies as IPOs; treasury bonds; real estate; and commodities. 许多国家都有代表:英国，德国，法国. You’ll notice from the dates that speculative bubbles happen every few years.
在最近一个世纪的美国, 20世纪20年代初曾出现过投机泡沫, 是什么导致了大萧条. 当然, 我们知道最近发生的两起事件, the internet stock bubble in the 1990s and the housing bubble in the early 2000s.
再来看看20世纪80年代的日本. There was a bubble in everything, stocks, real estate, art, you name it. 他们称之为泡沫经济. So much so, that, as stocks went up, people bid up real estate, which made stocks go up more. 最惊人的是1989年它的价格达到了顶峰, the land under the emperor’s palace was worth more than the entire state of California. 我们现在嘲笑这一点, 但是当时, people felt that was rational because that’s what people do in these moments, 他们合理化.
来源: Manics, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises by: Charles P. 金德尔伯格
As long as human mind is swayed by greed and fear, speculation will persist. It will start as healthy speculation and transition to unhealthy speculation, leading to the booms and busts that have characterized history for centuries.
而瓦伦丁并不一定是在寻找繁荣和萧条, understanding how greed and fear play into financial decisions drives our Tier I process and allows us to remain overweight or underweight equities, 在我们的市场周期中.
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