Ben Carlson

The Psychology of Playing the Lottery

On this week’s podcast we discussed some stats from a recent Bloomberg piece about the lottery: The lowest-income households in the U.S. on average spend $412 annually on lottery tickets, which is nearly four times the $105 a year spent by the highest-earning households, according to a study released on Wednesday by Bankrate.com. And almost 3 in 10 Americans…

Knowledge vs. Skill

“Only the disciplined ones in life are free. If you are undisciplined, you are a slave to your moods and your passions.” – Eliud Kipchoge This week Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya shattered the world record in the marathon by one minute and 18 seconds with a time of 2:01:39. This equates to an unfathomable average…

Animal Spirits Episode 47: Borrowing From the Future

On this week’s Animal Spirits with Michael and Ben we discuss: Ray Dalio’s thoughts on debt cycles. Taking financial advice from billionaires. The world’s $250 trillion in debt. How much debt is too much for the world’s governments? Why no one really knows how many assets are indexed. How lotteries can help people save more money. JP…

The Best Performing Stocks

My least favorite market stats lead off with the following: If you would have just invested $10,000… This is always followed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, Bitcoin or some other asset that has seen enormous gains since its infancy. And if you had only invested $10,000 you would be a millionaire many times over. So why…

Revisiting the Fall of 2008

“If money isn’t loosened up, this sucker could go down.” George W. Bush If you had the misfortune of buying an S&P 500 index fund the Friday before Lehman Brothers went bankrupt you would’ve lost 46% over the next 6 months or so. On the other hand, if you bought that day but never sold…

Don’t Take Asset Allocation Advice From Billionaires

Josh Brown shared some notes from a talk he sat in on this week with JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Here’s Josh with a tidbit on how Mr. Dimon thinks about his own asset allocation: Jamie despises bonds. “I wouldn’t own any” he says in response to a question about asset classes and opportunities. He does…

Is Software Eating Value Investing?

Marc Andreessen wrote one of the more prescient pieces of this century in the Summer of 2011 called Why Software is Eating the World. He laid out his reasoning behind the idea that technology is fundamentally changing the way we do business, likely for good: My own theory is that we are in the middle of…

Animal Spirits Episode 46: How the Financial Crisis Affected Millennials

On this week’s Animal Spirits with Michael & Ben we discuss: The lingering impact from the financial crisis on investor risk appetite. How a financial crisis in your formative years can leave lasting scars. Every generation has their own ‘Death of Equities.’ Even the Fed makes decisions based on pasts crises. Cliff Asness on how…

Wage Growth vs. The Stock Market

The unemployment rate has fallen off a cliff since reaching double digits in October of 2010. It now sits at just 3.9%. To put this in perspective, from 1970-1999, the unemployment rate never fell below 4%. Job openings in America now outstrip the total number of people actively seeking employment. Economic textbooks would tell us when demand exceeds supply…

The Other Failure Risk in VC

Venture capital is one of the most unique forms of investing in the asset management industry. The business model is predicated on the fact that the majority of the early-stage investments made by these funds will fail. In fact, multiple failures are expected. The hope is one big winner — a la Google, eBay, LinkedIn,…