Ben Carlson

Economics: The Debate Club

“Think like an investor and not like an economist or politician.” – Richard Bernstein According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), since 1857, the U.S. has experienced 33 recessions that lasted an average of 17 months. That means that there’s been a recession in one out of every five years, on average. In…

Answers to Your Biggest Financial Concerns

“Hire an advisor because it is very hard to see the errors in your own behavior & it is easy to see the errors in someone else’s behavior.  Very few people need to hire advisors because of the size of their calculators.  They need an advisor to help them behave correctly.” – Carl Richards

Financial Envy

“Nothing obscures your financial judgment on investments more than the site of your neighbor getting rich.” – JP Morgan A research study posed the following question: which new employee would be happier, the person making $36,000 in a firm where the starting salary is $40,000 or the one making $34,000 where the average is $30,000?…

How I Think About Stock Losses

“Unless you can watch your stock holdings decline by 50% without becoming panic-stricken, you should not be in the stock market.” – Warren Buffett Doug Kass posed a fair question on Twitter this week: The first thing that popped into my head was ‘younger investors should welcome regular market declines.’ I’ve been working in the…

William Bernstein on Diversification

“The good news is that in reality, risk and diversification are about what happens over the long haul, not during a punishing downturn like 2007-2009.” – William Bernstein In Skating Where the Puck Was, William Bernstein tackles one of the central tenets of any comprehensive investment plan — diversification. Specifically, Bernstein discusses correlation among the…

The Evolution of Investment Analysis

“The world of finance hails the invention of the wheel over and over again, often in a slightly more unstable version.” – J.K. Galbraith Earlier this week I set out to define ‘This time is different.’ It’s a tough one to explain considering markets are always different because they’re complex, adaptive systems. But it’s never…

How the Rich got Rich

“The rich invest in time, the poor invest in money.” – Warren Buffett Some nice pep talk material via the Wall Street Journal: Seventy-five percent of ultra-high net worth people ($30 million or more in net assets) in North America are self-made according to this survey. That’s a shocking number, but one that should offer…

Defining ‘This Time is Different’

“The biggest investing errors come not from factors that are informational or analytical, but from those that are psychological.” – Howard Marks In John Templeton’s timeless 16 rules for Investment Success (published in 1933) he states: “The investor who says, ‘This time is different,’ when in fact it’s virtually a repeat of an earlier situation, has…