WSJ on Ken Fisher’s Promotional Tactics

There is a fairly savage piece in today’s Wall Street Journal criticizing fund manager Ken Fisher of Fischer Investments and Forbes “fame”. (Whew, that was some serious “f” alliteration.)

The main complaints:

  • The firm’s 10-year figures, which show the firm handily topping the returns of its benchmark, are based on a combination of the firm’s institutional accounts prior to 1995 and on the performance on the accounts of high-net worth individuals since then.

  • Mr. Fisher was dead wrong in May 2002 when, in the span of just a few days, he put his clients back into the market at what turned out to be the brink of a significant market slide.
  • Salespeople are encouraged to go to great lengths to pursue clients.

This is dubious stuff. While the first point might be material if we had more info, the latter two are just hard-nosed business tactics in the world of managing money. Ken Fisher is a smart, tough, aggressive investor, one who isn’t afraid to market his products. Faulting him for that is nonsensical, not to mention holding him to a higher standard than CEOs of other businesses.