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Practical Speculation





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About the book:

At last, some modest proof of what some of us have long suspected - beware of lords on boards. Authors Victor Niederhoffer and Laurel Kenner studied the relationship between stock returns and the number of board members with titles in the 50 largest companies by market value in the FTSE 100. Over a five year period, the more titles on the board, the worse the performance of the shares. Niederhoffer and Kenner even invented a valuation indicator, the earnings/lords ratio, dividing the earnings per share by the number of titles in the boardroom. At the time they did the study, Powergen, with just one lord, looked the most attractive stock on this basis. The finding raises the obvious question of causality. As the authors write: "Was it the lords who caused the lackluster performance or the lackluster performance that prompted the companies to use lords as window-dressing?" That comment, however, suggests a possible American misunderstanding of the British honors system. The...

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