What a Strange Round Trip It’s Been

Well that was pretty quick. Since peaking in late-September the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) now has a slightly positive total return, wiping out a nearly 20% loss: It’s hard to believe how quickly sentiment in the market can go from “the world is coming to an end and a recession has already started” to “everything’s…

Recessions vs. Bear Markets

It may not feel like it after living through the Great Recession but the U.S. economy has become far more stable over time. Just look at the inflation rate over the past 100 plus years: And the contraction in GDP in each of the past 15 recessions: The Great Recession was an epic financial crisis…

Animal Spirits Episode 77: Money Made By Chance

This week’s Animal Spirits with Michael & Ben is sponsored by YCharts: Mention Animal Spirits and receive 20% off your subscription price when you initially sign up for the service. We discuss: Why dividends don’t matter as much as they used to for the stock market The guy who bet $85k to win $1.2 million on Tiger winning…

The Stephen A. Smiths of Personal Finance

It was reported earlier this month that Stephen A. Smith is in line to become the highest paid on-air talent in ESPN history when he signs his new contract. He could earn between $8 to $10 million a year. People on the Internet love to point out how wrong Smith’s takes can be at times….

Why We’ll Never All Be Happy Again

There are two things people need to understand about humanity: (1) Things are unquestionably getting better over time. (2) People assume things are unquestionably getting worse over time. I love this chart from Our World in Data: This data doesn’t quite jibe with how happy people report they feel today. You can see the trend…

Prudent Risk Management or Market Timing in Disguise?

A podcast listener asks: I work at a pension fund steadily losing performance chasing members (we were positioned too conservatively through the bull market) – and now the investment committee wants to be more “peer-aware”. I tend to think now is not the time to make a more aggressive allocation, but part of me also…

The Life Cycle of Wealth

In his book The Ages of the Investor, William Bernstein describes a mythical employer named Uncle Fred who offers investors a retirement savings scheme determined by the flip of the coin. One side of the coin results in a +30% annual gain while the other side gives you a -10% loss in a given year. Since the…

Animal Spirits Episode 76: Money Makes Money

This week’s Animal Spirits with Michael & Ben is sponsored by YCharts: Mention Animal Spirits and receive 20% off your subscription price when you initially sign up for the service. We discuss: Is the retirement crisis overblown? Or is it worse than most people assume? What do we do today that will seem crazy in 50 years? Pay…

The Stories We Tell Ourselves to Sell Ourselves

Marc Andreessen recently told Brian Koppelman venture capitalists seem to have an unlimited amount of ideas to pick from these days. Ideas are the easy part. The hard part is executing on those ideas. Andreessen said his venture firm a16z is more interested in founders with great ideas who can also sell those ideas to…