50 Ways The World is Getting Better

“I am not an optimist. I am a very serious possibilist.” – Hans Rosling You don’t have to look too far to find negativity these days. Just watch the news, go on social media, or even have conversations with friends, family members, or co-workers. You’ll likely hear or read about political instability, natural disasters, murder,…

Animal Spirits Episode 26: The Collaborative Podcast

On this week’s Animal Spirits with Michael & Ben, we welcomed on our first ever guest host, Morgan Housel from Collaborative Fund. The three of us discussed: Who should invest in private companies? How in the world do you pick top quartile venture capital funds? Is it possible to invest privately using quantitative tools? The…

Who Benefits From Rising Interest Rates?

Rising interest rates are almost always framed in terms of risk — bonds will lose money, stocks will lose money, the economy is overheating, etc. Rarely are rising rates framed in terms of who benefits. This piece I wrote fro Bloomberg looks at the groups who could see a positive impact from rising interest rates….

Trading One Risk For Another

I was in Chicago last week visiting our new office¬†(awesome location in the West Loop). I was there with Barry Ritholtz and Kris Venne meeting clients and prospects and visiting with our new colleagues Brian, Jonathan, Anna, and Colleen. Barry was out of the office all week so he was running older posts from the…

The Luck of the Draw When Diversifying Across Time

My column for Bloomberg this week looked at how the lump sum vs. dollar cost averaging decision may be impacted by the current higher-than-average valuation levels. Investing a large slug of cash is never an easy decision. Investors worry about investing all their cash right before a market crash or not investing it all at…

The Tyranny of Benchmarking

A number of years ago the firm I worked for went through a lengthy review process of the compensation policies for our investment team. Management was trying to make sure our pay was aligned with industry averages but specifically, they were overhauling our bonus pool. A compensation consultant was brought in. The process took a…

Animal Spirits Episode 25: Some Things We Learned

On this week’s Animal Spirits with Michael & Ben we discuss: Why the next recession won’t look like the last one. Why investors are always fighting the last war. Is it now contrarian to predict higher expected returns? What could cause the future to look better than the past in the markets? The staggering growth…

Why It Makes No Sense to Compare Dividend Yields to Bond Yields

Investors have a funny relationship with yield. Retirees tend to prefer an income-based strategy, even at the expense of total returns. Plenty of investors (and politicians) have a poor understanding of share buybacks. Another area of confusing stems from making yield comparisons across stocks and bonds. You could certainly make the case for comparing bond…

3 Ways to Make Up For a Retirement Savings Shortfall

The growing disparity between the haves and the have-nots in this country means that while the top wealth-holders have more than enough money to do what they would like in retirement, a majority of Americans are massively underprepared for their non-working years. It may seem bleak for the large group of people who have little…

More Than Never. Less Than Always.

In the latest Jack Reacher book, The Midnight Line by Lee Child, Reacher is forced to make a decision without having all of the facts. He’s trying to track down the owner of an Army ring and has to make an educated guess about how to find her. He lays out the best case scenario…