Reading The Intelligent Investor I came across the following fact which was mind-blowing to me:
Finance professors Jay Ritter and William Schwert have shown that if you had spread a total of only $1,000 across every IPO in January 1960, at its offering price, sold out at the end of that month, then invested anew in each successive month's crop of IPOs, your portfolio would have been worth more than $533 decillion by year-end 2001.
On Chapter 6 commentary.
Now, (I think) I know a thing or two here:
- The price on the IPO tends to be higher. This means that if you wait a month or two, you can buy the same stock for less money.
- Picking a random company in an IPO has a high probability of failure, since when we look to the past we look at it with a survivorship bias, only at the IPOs that were succesful, and not the thousands that failed.
And indeed, the author comments on these two points. However, I cannot get my head around these points:
- What is the point of worrying with survivorship bias if we are buying every offer of IPO?
- $533 decillion is... 10 to the 21st power the current planet's economy. It is just too much money.
What is happening here? Did this specific time interval had an extraordinary feature? Or is it reasonable to try this now, even if I get only 0.0000000000000000000001% of that value? (Which would make me currently have more than twice of Bezos' net worth)?