"Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas," are wise words from American economist Paul Samuelson.
Investors in European equities have certainly taken their money elsewhere. Perhaps not to the casinos of Las Vegas or Monaco, but to invest in other asset classes and markets around the world.
Last year, European equity mutual funds experienced outflows of €50bn and this trend has continued into 2019.
Negative sentiment towards European equities is understandable.
The economy is fragile with growth likely to remain below the long-term average. Concerns over Italian banks, certain parts of German manufacturing and the French yellow vest protests are seen as dark clouds over the economy.
Brexit also remains not just for the UK, but for the whole of Europe. European elections in May are likely to confirm the development of "populist politics" given absence of economic growth and challenges over wealth distribution.
Meanwhile, some investors have been underweight in Europe for years, as they are deterred by the complexity of the European market.
With nearly 20 countries in the benchmark, each with their own languages, cultures and laws, combined with different political systems, the market can be confusing.
A good roll of the dice
Yet bourses have performed strongly year-to-date bouncing back from the downturn in Q4. The FTSE Europe ex UK index has returned 16%.
The level of returns from European equities so far this year may prompt some short-term profit taking, particularly given subdued forecasts for the wider economy.
Importantly, though, the correlation between European GDP and stockmarket performance is lower than many investors might expect.
Less than 50% of revenues for companies within the major European indices stem from the EU. The correlation can drop
much further when you look at individual sectors and companies.
The potential returns for sectors - in which Europe has many global leaders, such as healthcare, technology and consumer staples - have limited connection with domestic GDP. Instead, they have much closer ties to structural trends.
These include digitalisation, an ageing global population and the rise of the emerging-market middle class.
For a company like Italy's Amplifon, the world's leading hearing aid retailer, its financial performance is not driven by near-term business survey data for the Italian economy, but by helping to solve healthcare challenges caused by long-term demographic trends.
A similar case could be made for a wide range of companies, including Unilever, Heineken and software firm Nemetschek.