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Pensions alerts

Throughout and following her career as a global market analyst, Herma Koornwinder issued many alerts in the media, and during talks she gave at conferences and seminars, about the urgent need for reform of the way pension funds invested the money that people contributed for their retirement. These extracts from the financial press date from 1993-2003.


1993-01 (1992-12)
Be alert to bearish breakthrough: Stocks National
Money

Her clients are mainly pension funds. Her motto: ‘A captain first maps the dangers of the sea before he plots a course. Similarly, the investor needs a plan to direct his decisions.’


1994-01-21
Protect stock positions: Mrs Koornwinder warns based on own system
Beleggers Belangen

Her system has worked well and Mrs Koornwinder has idealistic thoughts about the opportunities for institutional investors to perform better than they currently are. If that happens, pension premiums and social levies could even drop.


1994-11-18
Technical analysis warranty accountant versus the non-believers
Het Financieele Dagblad

Mrs Koornwinder now makes bold to state: on the one hand, the man in the street has been forced to make financial sacrifices for many years due to cutbacks. On the other hand, the performance of pension funds could be much better than it is today. Would certain cutbacks even be necessary if those institutional investors handled our money in a more ‘innovative’ way?


1994-12-17
Daring prognoses often spot on: Koornwinder advocates ’investment technology’
Eindhovens Dagblad

The government forces citizens to tighten their belts year after year. All of this would not be necessary if that same government, which is so full of new technologies, would have an eye for investment technology. In that case, money managed by the government would generate hundreds of millions more in return. This is something in which Herma Koornwinder firmly believes. She points to the increasingly ageing population. Research by accountancy agency Coopers & Lybrand recently indicated that old-age benefits were starting to become unaffordable. At the same time, every additional per cent of return over capital managed by pension funds would result in a decrease of the premiums by many per cent.


1994-12-17
’Investment of public money generates too little return’: ’Stock market guru’ Herma Koornwinder is often right
Brabants Dagblad

Modern management theories should enter the investment world, according to Koornwinder. ’Money that does not move is dead money – a waste of supply,’ she confidently states. ‘Public funds are very poorly managed. Profit can be improved dramatically by using investment technology.’


1995-06
Dutch stock market guru does know how to outperform the market
De Volkskrant

She is convinced that she does know how to outperform the market using her models. Not just in the short-term, but also in the long term. ‘Should pension funds succeed to achieve as little as one per cent more return on their investments, it would be of great social importance, given the ageing of the population.’


1995-06-12
Lesson for pension giants: Investment expert develops very lucrative method
Utrechts Nieuwsblad

She refuses to accept that the ageing of the population is endangering future pension payments. Of course, she cannot stop ageing itself, but the returns of pension giants can be improved. Herma Koornwinder, self-made investment expert from the Dutch town of Heeze, has more to offer than promising statements. She spent years developing a method that exceeds the results of the most renowned portfolio managers.


1995-10
KGMN makes active investing possible
Management Info

‘It is most certainly necessary that the return is increased,’ Herma Koornwinder continues. ‘For example, the Dutch pension and insurance funds handle about 800 billion guilders. If better research can lead to just one per cent more in return, that would be substantial. It has been calculated that funds could decrease their pension premiums with 15 per cent if they improved their performance on the stock market with just one per cent. The KGMN Performance Record 1989-1994 proves that this is truly possible … We have a major problem in the Netherlands. It has become evident that the breakdown of our social security system has begun. There is reason to wonder if the pension funds will have enough financial means in the future to fulfil their obligations.’


1995-10-20
A splendid outperformance. Herma Koornwinder: an investment advisor who puts her head above the parapet
Management Team

… according to Koornwinder …  if pension funds and investors would use better investment methods, the premiums could be lowered, and the Netherlands would become more competitive and therefore more prosperous.


1995-11
Interview with Mrs Herma Koornwinder, Dutch stock market guru
FiscAlert

‘A turning point in my life was when I discovered how poorly investment companies and pension funds are investing their money. The return on pension provisions and so-called residency funds is truly dramatic in the Netherlands. I hope to make people aware of this problem. An amount of about 750 billion guilders has been invested in pension funds, social funds and life insurances in our country. You can imagine what a huge difference a couple of more per cent on the annual return would make.’


1996-02-01
Herma Koornwinder speaks about the need for new investment technology:
New investment technology vital to finance effects of ageing and high-tech unemployment

Erasmus University Rotterdam: Pecunia magazine

‘It is unclear whether the retirement and social security funds, which will have to foot the bill, will continue to be able to fulfil their financial obligations. In 1994 and 1995, retirement funds have increased their investments on the stock market. The importance of good investment results from these funds is obvious. The required funds do not necessarily have to come from cutbacks at the expense of the individual citizen: good investment management can also lead to extra funds. The Netherlands disposes of some 770 billion Dutch guilders in retirement pension monies. According to Mr Frijns, director of the General Public Retirement Fund, premiums could easily be cut by 15 per cent if the returns from such investments could be increased by a mere single per cent. Instead, some premiums are going up, as, for example, with the general retirement fund for the metal industry (FD, 19.3.1996).

‘The question that logically follows is whether a performance improvement is at all possible. After a process of years of research and testing, I have reached the conclusion that this actually is possible, namely by applying new investment models and to start investing globally.’


1996-07-26
Dutch Garzarelli avoids drop in rates
Het Financieele Dagblad

Her biggest wish? To live to see the day that Dutch pension funds convert to her strategy, and that they no longer, as they tend to do now, sit on the same stock for many a long day: ‘If I am able to contribute to the financing of the rising costs of the ageing of the population in that way, that would be enough for me.’


1996-10-11
The dissident vision of Herma Koornwinder
Intermediair

The Netherlands is a welfare paradise and it can stay that way if the large pension funds such as ABP and PGGM change their strategies in time. With more stock, they can generate a much higher return, says Herma Koornwinder, self-made stock market guru of the Lowlands ... in past years more and more investment experts have become convinced that, regardless of their strategies, it was impossible to beat the market indexes in the long term. Even pension funds such as ABP and PGGM are using that philosophy. These large investors invest more and more in stock only to stick with it for years. A missed opportunity, according to Koornwinder. He who makes timely changes is able to generate a much larger return. And, according to Koornwinder, a higher return is necessary to be able to bear the social costs of ageing.


1996-12-27
Computers have quickly caught up with time-honoured investment profundities
Leeuwarder Courant

‘There are huge savings of pension premiums amounting to almost ƒ800 billion. If, with a better control of the risk, one additional per cent of return on investment is realised, the pension premiums can be lowered 15 per cent.’


1997-06-07
Guru for sale, Herma Koornwinder, the Dutch miracle, wants to sell system: ‘Make an offer’
Elsevier

She is on a mission: ‘Pension funds can make a lot more from their investments. The ageing of the population will become a drama if pension funds do not start investing in a more modern way.’


1997-12
‘Investing too risky for individuals’: A look on the future
Opzij

She started advising large pension funds, which meant a lot to her because if a pension fund achieved one per cent more return on its investment, the premium could be lowered several per cent.


1999 – Autumn
Outdated knowledge equals impotence
S@fe (Robeco)

Index investment, introduced by the American economist and Nobel Prize winner Harry Markowitz in 1952, is outdated according to her. She thinks pension funds should be able to get a better return by looking for new models. This would be very welcome, as the rapid ageing of the western population is mortgaging future prosperity. ‘If the pension funds would get even a few per cent more return, that problem would be solved.’


1999-12-24
“We are going to get a Flash Economy”. Investment advisor Koornwinder predicts enormous changes
De Gooi- en Eemlander

Koornwinder also points her finger at the large or specialised banks such as ABN Amro and Merrill Lynch or Morgan Stanley. Especially in fair weather, they performed well, but during the Asia crisis, the stock rates of these banks were halved within six months, dragging along small and large investors with them due to their advice, including the pension funds that managed about a thousand billion guilders for our old age. Koornwinder: “It would mean a tremendous source of prosperity in the future if our pension premiums would achieve just a few percent additional return every year. One should be in clover during good and bad weather.” Leaving our old-age provision in a nest egg at the index, as we do now, will lead to certain poverty or rationed medication, according to Koornwinder.


1999-12-31
Investor of the 21st century is an e-trader: Koornwinder foresees digital flash economy
Dagblad Zaanstreek

Koornwinder’s core themes remain, invariably and inevitably, high-tech and unemployment, ageing and affordability of pensions. ‘For the imminent ageing of the population, we should already have had a plan ready, otherwise it will not be affordable. After all, foresight is the essence of government … If the pension premiums also make a few per cent more than with the current investment theories, we can steer the ageing in the right direction, which means that medication does not have to be rationed, that patients do not have to wait in the hallway and that waiting lists are a thing of the past.’


2002-07-26
Small investor holds his breath
Eindhovens Dagblad

‘… the investor loses on three different levels; while the value of his investments is decreasing, his pension premium is increasing because the pension funds are also losing on the stock markets.’


2003-08-18
Shareholders unable to play crucial part
Het Financieele Dagblad

Investment expert Herma Koornwinder recently (FD 1.8.03) said that pension funds had failed their contributors miserably.



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