Ben Carlson

The Benefits of Working Remotely

In a recent blog post, billionaire Richard Branson discussed the benefits of a flexible work schedule that allows you to work remotely. His thoughts on this were shaped by the fact that Branson himself wanted to work more out of the office following the birth of his first son. He laid out 4 reasons employers should…

Headline Risk

In my old job I spent a lot of time monitoring our stable of money managers. This meant having a deep understanding of their investment process, tracking performance, combing through their portfolios and understanding their risk exposures. Whenever we would have our quarterly meetings with these managers we would invariably discuss their top holdings. During these…

Animal Spirits Episode 21: The Magic Number

On this week’s Animal Spirits with Michael & Ben we discuss: How the competition for entertainment impacts business television. Amazon’s numbers are bonkers. How sales & marketing is changing in the asset management business. My pet peeve with surveys & statistics. Is America really as polarized as ever? The coming demographic shift that’s never occurred…

This Year’s Stock Market Losses Are Normal

The recent market correction was unusual in how swift it occurred but the magnitude of the losses shouldn’t be unexpected for investors. Losses are part of the game when investing in the stock market. This piece I wrote for Bloomberg in the midst of the sell-off provides some perspective on this year’s losses in stocks….

Accidental Career Guidance

Most career advice isn’t very helpful. Follow your passion but take the safe route but remember that you’re lucky to even have a job… I say this as someone who has sought out career advice on countless occasions throughout my professional life from a wide range of sources. The reason giving and/or receiving career advice is so…

Some Perspective on Investing Advice

I had a family member ask for some investment advice recently. They had come into some money and wanted to know if I had any thoughts on what they should do with it. It would be easy to simply offer up a fund or handful of funds to invest in but there’s more nuance required…

Animal Spirits Episode 20: Goodnight Moon

On this week’s Animal Spirits with Michael & Ben we discuss: Why the flash correction was so rare. The growing chasm between the haves and the have-nots. The huge following of Dave Ramsey. Why rising interest rates are a double-edged sword. Why crypto index funds don’t make sense. The potential move into financial services by Amazon….

Does Economic Volatility Affect Stock Market Volatility?

We finally had some volatility in the markets this year after an extraordinarily calm 2017. Investors seem to worry under both scenarios. When volatility is low, the worry is that it will pick up in the future. And when volatility spikes, the worry is that it will continue. The truth is both periods of subdued…

Making it Look Easy is Hard Work

In a podcast post-mortem about hosting the Oscars last week, Jimmy Kimmel told Bill Simmons that Martin Short is the greatest dinner guest of all-time along with being a member of the Mount Rushmore of great talk show guests. Then The New Yorker ran a story this week asking Is Martin Short the Greatest Talk-Show Guest…

Lessons From the Couple Who Hacked the Lottery

The best story I’ve read in a while comes from Highline Magazine. It tells the tale of a couple from a small Northern Michigan town who figured out how to hack the lottery to win millions of dollars. And what they did required no deception, no cheating, and no broken laws. It was perfectly legal and…