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Landbanking Firm’s High Return?

Written By: Tiang Chuan on July 25, 2010 2 Comments

A landbanking firm placed a half page advertisement on the 25th July 2010 edition of The Sunday Times. In the advert, a 28.24%  average rate of return was reported. The figure was even reported to be audited by a large audit firm.

Average rate of return is not the standard way investment return is reported. Normally, investment return is reported using Compounded Annual Return (Compounded Annual Growth Rate, CAGR) or a.k.a Geometrical Return. The average rate of return is the Simple Average of the returns.

I check out the report on their website and the Compounded Annual Return is 14.82%, only half of the reported 28.24% average rate of return.

A Geometrical Return will never be higher than the Simple Average. A simple example –  An investment gave a 100% return in year 1 and drop 50% in year 2. What is the Simple Average Return and Geometrical Return? Ans:

Simple Average Return – 25% p.a.

Geometrical Return – 0% p.a.

I find it misleading to report the Simple Average return while the Geometrical Return is available. Even the report state that the “compound rate of return is more commonly used in Canada“.  But hey, landbanking is not regulated anyway. So we should not be surprised at the non-standard way of reporting investment return.

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2 Responses to “Landbanking Firm’s High Return?”

  1. James C says on: 2 August 2010 at 10:32 AM

    Just out of curiosity how did the average fund managers you use perform?

  2. Tiang Chuan says on: 2 August 2010 at 7:41 PM

    Hi James,

    It depends on which asset class the fund is in, eg, bonds, equities or even alternative.

    Anyway, the posting is not about the returns but about how it is presented. The standard compounded return was readily available but the company chose to publish the misleading average return. This highlights the issue of not having any regulation or standards on this type of investment.

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