What I’ve Been Reading Lately

I’ve been on the road a couple times in the past two weeks so I’ve been doing an above average amount of reading lately. My standard rule for plane travel is no in-air Internet for two reasons: (1) The wi-fi rarely works so it just ends up being a huge waste of time trying to…

8 Questions As We Head Into Year End

Some random questions I’m pondering as 2018 comes to a close… 1. Is it becoming a contrarian position to be optimistic about the future? I’m getting a little sick of the “2016 2017 2018 is the worst year ever.” Our society is far from perfect and things could always be better but if you honestly think humanity has reached…

Animal Spirits Episode 59: Late Cycle

On this week’s Animal Spirits with Michael & Ben we discuss: Why every market correction feels different. 2018 stock market losses are in line with historical drawdowns. Why I’d like to see a shallow recession and run-of-the-mill bear market. How pretentious is it to say, “I will say this…”? Why aren’t rich people happier? Would…

The One Constant in the Stock Market

Something rare happened in the S&P 500 this year. The index has experienced a double-double-digit drawdown (kind of like double secret probation?) for the first time since 1990. That means the S&P 500 fell 10%, made those losses back, only to fall 10% yet again. The only other years on record I could find when this happened…

Good News & Bad News About Saving For College

I was having drinks last week with a group who were all in a similar situation as me — working in the wealth management field with young children at home. The topic of saving for college came up since many of us have multiple little ones to plan for continuing education some day. We all…

Normal Accidents in the Stock Market

Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales is one of the best books I’ve read over the past few years. it’s a mixture of unbelievable stories of survival, bravery, stupidity, adventure, and the psychology of how humans react under pressure situation. Gonzales introduced me to the book Normal Accidents by Charles Perrow while describing complex systems: Perrow’s Normal Accidents, first published in…

What’s Not Going to Change in Financial Services?

I had a great time in Wisconsin earlier this week talking to the CFA and FPA societies in Madison and Milwaukee. My talks centered around where I think the financial services industry is going in the future, how to stand out from the crowd in an era where information is abundant, and why fighting new…

Animal Spirits Episode 58: The Sellers Are in Control

On this week’s Animal Spirits with Michael & Ben we discuss: Michael’s two appearances on CNBC. The couple who retired in their 30s with $1 million. Are the FIRE people offering unrealistic expectations? Can your savings really last 50+ years using the 4% rule? When FIRE goes wrong. How much money does the average retiree…

The 80-Hour Workweek

A reader asks: I see amongst new grads that work in the finance industry that there is a general sentiment that more hours worked equates to some level prestige. The extreme example is investment banking where you most likely work 80+ hours a week. Maybe it’s just me experiencing this but regardless I’d like to hear…

Talk Your Book: Investing in Commodities

Today’s Animal Spirits: Talk Your Book is presented by Graniteshares: We discuss: Boom and bust nature of commodities What is the role of commodities in a portfolio — manage risk or price appreciation? Why would commodities add a risk management component to a typical portfolio? Do commodities need inflation to do well or is it…