What I Believe, But Cannot Prove: True Alpha Does Not Exist for Individual Investors

Mark Armbruster, CFA.

I believe, but cannot prove, that true alpha does not exist for individual investors. There are too many conflicts of interest and “frictions” in the system for an individual investor to enjoy market-beating results. I believe this is the case regardless of whether individual investors invest on their own or with the help of an investment professional. Although I don’t think that investment advisers can help an individual beat the market, I do believe that most individuals will enjoy superior results with the help of an investment adviser.