Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Bonds vs. Equity

Eleanor Kigen's columns are usually on point, but this one comparing an investment decision between Equity (the bank) and T-bills, was almost errm... unanalytical.

She fell into the classic trap that all new investors fall into when they discover P/E. You layer it on any type of stock or investment without thought. Price earnings ratio must have context to have meaning. P/E comparisons only work if you are comparing companies in the same sector and probably those that have the same size (if you are being pedantic). So just because Equity had a P/E of 250/6 and the T-bill had 100/9, doesn't make the T-bill a better buy. The T-bill will give you 9% at the end of the yr and Equity will probably give you 30%+ (in a bad yr).

More generally, Bonds v Equity debate has been there almost as long as both assets have existed (there is even Effecient Asset Allocation theory for your bedtime reading). And the verdict from those who analyse these things? Over any economic cycle, equity investing will always beat bonds.

In the context of our 26% inflation, 9% is actually a loss.

A tough one, say you have a Ksh100k, would you invest it in Equity or T-bills?

1 comment:

mkenya halisi said...

Unfortunately I wasnt able to read Kigens analysis/comments, it would have made a good read judging by the comments you have posted.