The Hardest Question in Portfolio Management

“If you don’t have the discipline to stick with your underlying strategy particularly when it’s not going in your favor, it’s nothing. It’s data on a page.” – Jim O’Shaughnessy Portfolio management can be broken down into two distinct camps — macro and micro. The macro deals with investment plans, asset allocation, risk management and philosophy…

The Best Free Investing Tools on the Web

One of the great things about the Internet is that it’s broken down many of the barriers to information that existed in the past. Investors can now become more informed than ever before if they know where to look and who to trust. You no longer have to go through the gatekeepers to access relevant…

Updating My Favorite Performance Chart for 2016

The asset class quilt is my favorite performance chart because it illustrates how difficult it can be to predict the winners and losers each year in the markets. There’s little rhyme or reason for how these things play out from year-to-year so it provides a good reminder for investors to understand that any single year’s…

Some Things I Wish I Would Have Learned in College

I’ve gotten the opportunity to speak with a number of college students over the past few years. I’m always impressed at how far ahead of the game most of these students are from where I was at their age. At these talks, I mostly try to share my story and tell them some of the…

Does the Stock Market Care Who the President Is?

The following is another piece I wrote for Bloomberg with some thoughts on what, if anything, the president means for stock market performance or risk. ******* Plenty of ink has been spilled by pundits, economists, portfolio managers, strategists and the financial media about what President Donald Trump’s economic plans, cabinet selections, trade talk, fiscal policy…

Some Lessons For Living From Older Generations

The Guardian recently ran a piece written by 94-year-old Harry Smith. Smith waxed poetic on his description of what growing old has meant to him: People should not look at their approaching golden years with dread or apprehension but as perhaps one of the most significant stages in their development as a human being, even…

Investing When No One Really Knows What to Do

“Risk control is the best route to loss avoidance. Risk avoidance, on the other hand, is likely to lead to return avoidance as well.” – Howard Marks Here’s a conversation that has likely occurred in some form or another — either as an inner monologue, between a financial professional and client or among investors —…

Epistemologically Arrogant

Tim Ferriss had a wide-ranging interview on a recent podcast with Ezra Klein. They touched on a few subjects where Ferriss was quick to point out he didn’t have all the answers. I liked how he framed the idea of our overconfident nature: Humans are, and history certainly proves this out over and over and over…

Return Expectations Going Forward

A few months ago I was asked to write for Bloomberg to help provide context and perspective around the financial markets. I’m really excited about the opportunity. I’ve been writing there roughly once a week since mid-January. I have to wait a few weeks after my pieces run on Bloomberg to re-publish here so occasionally…