Ben Carlson

Animal Spirits Episode 45: Do We Need a Recession?

On this week’s Animal Spirits with Michael & Ben we discuss: The financial independent, retire early movement. Does the 4% rule work if you retire in your 30s? Why you’re paying so little for all your new services Taking private jets for college tours. Is venture capital propping up a bunch of terrible business models?…

Is Real Estate a Non-Correlated Asset Class?

Investors have spent a lot of time and energy since the financial crisis in search of non-correlated assets. Most of their efforts have led to disappointing results, mainly because stocks are up huge since then but also because liquid alt and hedge fund strategies have left much to be desired in terms of performance. Real…

Revisiting The Melt-Up Scenario

Here’s a story about how difficult it is to predict markets in the short-term. Earlier this year I was working on a piece for Bloomberg. I started pulling on a string with an idea in early January. Stocks were already up 4-5% on the year and that’s following 2017 which saw returns in excess of…

Could Index Funds Become Too Popular?

A reader asks: But follow that thought through – there are any number of other clever investing ideas that seemed like a good idea, and failed once the secret got out. Isn’t indexing one of them? This question was in reference to the piece I wrote called The Half-Life of Investment Strategies that looked at how competition…

Your Biggest Expense as a New Parent

Here’s something no one really prepared me for when I became a parent: Kathleen and husband Dustin Farhat pay $464 per week for childcare for 5-month-old son Brady and 3-year-old Jack while the couple works full-time jobs. That’s $1,856 a month, about $500 more per month than their mortgage payment on their home in Bath,…

Animal Spirits Episode 44: When Hitler Took Cocaine

On this week’s Animal Spirits with Michael & Ben we discuss: How much brokers charged in the 1940s for stock trades. Stocks are overvalued by almost every measure but what does that mean? How the growth of intangible assets has impacted the markets. The fallout from the crypto massacre. Will the finance industry stamp out…

Why Doesn’t The Stock Market Care About the News?

The S&P 500 is up almost 10% this year. Small cap stocks are up more than 13%. Mid caps have risen just shy of 9%. The Nasdaq 100 is up almost 19%. The S&P or the Nasdaq haven’t had a down year since 2008. The Teflon market has deflected everything that’s been thrown its way, as this chart from…

10 Things You May Not Know About the Great Depression

The Great Financial Crisis was the worst economic and market meltdown we’ve experienced in a generation. But compared to the Great Depression, it was a walk in the park. Here’s the breakdown: In 1938, six years after the end of the Great Depression, the unemployment rate was still as high as 20%. Six years after…

The First Modern Investing Advertisement

On a recent episode of the Odd Lots podcast, Tracy Alloway sat down with her Bloomberg colleague Eric Weiner to discuss the history of Wall Street. They tell the story of Louis Engel, an executive for Merrill Lynch who created the first modern advertisement for an investment firm in 1948. Following the Great Depression, most…

Buying Emerging Markets During a Disaster

Earlier this week I wrote a short history (because there really is no long history) of corrections and bear markets in emerging market stocks. Here’s the graph for those of you who missed it: The natural follow-up, which is a question many of my astute readers posed, is what happened to the performance of EM…