Ben Carlson

The Great Reckoning in Retail

Next Thursday is our EBI Conference in New York City.┬áThe line-up for the conference is stacked — Liz Ann Sonders, Cliff Asness, Jason Zweig, Tim Buckley, Jim Ross, and a whole bunch of other well-known names from the asset management, financial media, and blogging worlds. There’s also NYU professor Scott Galloway who is one of…

Bull & Bear Market Volatility Look Very Different

Volatility is a tricky concept in the markets. Investors are constantly looking at how much markets are fluctuating to gauge where investor sentiment stands as a gauge for complacency, fear, or greed. In terms of predicting the end of a bull market, volatility gives us mixed signals. In this piece I wrote for Bloomberg I…

An Investment Book for the Masses

Buy and hold was the first investing concept where the light bulb immediately went off in my head. It was elegant in its simplicity. It made sense. There are no barriers to entry for this type of strategy. Anyone who has the patience and mental fortitude can invest this way. It has its flaws but…

What the Charts Don’t Tell You

This past week marked the 30th anniversary of the 1987 crash so there were plenty of reflections in the financial media and such. This chart made the rounds on social media: In some ways this type of chart is beautiful. It shows the power of human ingenuity, the benefits of long-term optimism, innovation, and progress…

What Could Send Bitcoin Into the Stratosphere?

I spoke at a conference this week and one of the first questions from the audience was about Bitcoin and my thoughts on cryptocurrencies as an asset class. My go-to phrase to sound intelligent (even though I have no idea) on this one is “Bitcoin may not be the ultimate winner in all of this…

How to Invest At All-Time Highs

Stocks can’t continue to go up forever and rates can’t continue to go down forever so what am I supposed to do? I’ve been receiving similar questions about the markets for a number of years now. In some ways, investing in an ever-rising market is just as hard as staying the course during a bear…

Risk Perception vs. Risk Profile

The unemployment rate sits at 4.3%. Inflation is subdued at just 2.2% over the previous 12 months. The 10-year treasury bond yield is still well below 3%. The S&P 500 passed through 2500 recently and has hit 45 (and counting) new all-time highs in 2017 alone. Stocks haven’t seen a 10% correction in almost 2…

The Economics of Having Twins

“Wow, you really have your hands full, huh?” I get this comment roughly 3-4x a week when people see me out and about with my 5-month old twins and 3-year-old daughter in tow. If I’m in a good mood and carrying two car seats I’ll even throw in a dad joke and reply, “Literally!” Our…

The Liberation of Limiting Yourself

I remember when The White Stripes burst onto the scene from Detroit in the early-2000s. Their sound was unique. Their look was unique. And no one could figure out what the relationship was between Jack and Meg White. Are they brother and sister? Are they married? Maybe they’re cousins? This was the early days of…

Bond Market Bubbles Are Not What You Think

Investors have been hearing about bond market bubbles since the financial crisis. Interest rates have refused to budge but even if/when they do rise most of the people proclaiming this is a “bond bubble” don’t really understand what that means. There’s a huge difference between how bonds and stocks are structured and many of those…