Consistency & Self-Delusion

While doing some research this week I pulled out my old copy of Meir Statman’s book What Investors Really Want and came across this gem on what most investors are looking for: We want high returns from our investments, but we want much more. We want to nurture hope for riches and banish fear of poverty. We…

How To Self-Publish a Book

When I wrote my first book a few years ago I went through a traditional publisher — John Wiley & Sons. It never occurred to me that I would ever write a book so getting something published was very gratifying and I learned a lot from the experience. For my new book (shameless self-promotion –…

Announcing My New Book: Organizational Alpha

One thing you learn after spending a considerable amount of time in the institutional investment world is that the various fund types in this space are kind of like high school kids. They all end up forming their own cliques along with their own unique traits among group members. In one group you have pension…

How the Bogle Model Beats the Yale Model

In the hierarchy of institutional investors, you won’t find a more competitive group than college endowments. They’re in constant competition with one another and the markets. It’s almost like a bizarre finance version of Duke-North Carolina in basketball or Michigan-Ohio State in football. Endowment funds try to invest in only the best money managers –…

The Zen of Nike’s Phil Knight

I’m normally not a huge fan of biographies. Most are way too long and spend the first few chapters going over minor details that really add nothing to the story. I just find that biographies are long on details and short on wisdom in most cases. That was not the case with Shoe Dog: A Memoir…

Deep Risk Under President Trump

Since winning the election in November there’s been constant speculation about what Donald Trump’s policies will mean for the markets. While it’s always fun for investment people to debate the merits of economic plans or tax policies, there are plenty of risks to consider with Trump’s ways of doing business. He’s tweeted or made statements…

This is Why You Need a Process

It’s only been eleven days since Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration. A lot has happened in that time. We’ve had executive orders, immigration bans, protests, regulation changes, people getting fired and hired in senior White House positions and much more. It seems you can’t go a couple hours without something new happening that causes an uproar….

How to Produce High Quality Investment Research

One of the benefits of advances in technology is the fact that we’re overflowing with information. This can be a double-edged sword. As Chuck Klosterman said, “We now have immediate access to all possible facts. Which is almost the same as having none at all.” Finance is no different in this regard. In the past, you would…

Unfortunate Realities of the Institutional Asset Management Business

A few years ago I wrote about some of the unfortunate realities of the investment business. They are as follows: All else equal, a talented sales staff will trump a talented investment staff when attracting capital from investors. The products that sound the best are often the worst ones to invest in. There are way too many investment products…

The Many Uncertainties Involved With Retirement Planning

Last week I was talking with a friend and the topic of retirement planning came up (my conversations are so hip these days). He told me he was overwhelmed by the sheer number of variables that come into play when trying to plan for something that is decades out into the future. The entire process…