Ben Carlson

Why Doesn’t The Stock Market Care About the News?

The S&P 500 is up almost 10% this year. Small cap stocks are up more than 13%. Mid caps have risen just shy of 9%. The Nasdaq 100 is up almost 19%. The S&P or the Nasdaq haven’t had a down year since 2008. The Teflon market has deflected everything that’s been thrown its way, as this chart from…

10 Things You May Not Know About the Great Depression

The Great Financial Crisis was the worst economic and market meltdown we’ve experienced in a generation. But compared to the Great Depression, it was a walk in the park. Here’s the breakdown: In 1938, six years after the end of the Great Depression, the unemployment rate was still as high as 20%. Six years after…

The First Modern Investing Advertisement

On a recent episode of the Odd Lots podcast, Tracy Alloway sat down with her Bloomberg colleague Eric Weiner to discuss the history of Wall Street. They tell the story of Louis Engel, an executive for Merrill Lynch who created the first modern advertisement for an investment firm in 1948. Following the Great Depression, most…

Buying Emerging Markets During a Disaster

Earlier this week I wrote a short history (because there really is no long history) of corrections and bear markets in emerging market stocks. Here’s the graph for those of you who missed it: The natural follow-up, which is a question many of my astute readers posed, is what happened to the performance of EM…

Expected Returns & The 7 Year Itch

GMO’s latest 7-year asset class return forecast leaves much to be desired: These forecasts are made on a real basis so they take inflation into account here but however you slice it, this is not a great look for expected returns. Obviously, expectations and reality don’t always sync up at an agreed upon equilibrium. GMO…

A Short History of Emerging Market Corrections & Bear Markets

Emerging market stocks as a group are dangerously close to the accepted definition of a bear market. Since peaking in late-January earlier this year, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index is now down 19.65% (not including dividends). It’s down around 10% on the year. If history is any guide, the stocks of these developing nations will…

The Art of Self-Control

I read a few things this week that had to do with control in some form or another that are worth highlighting. A study released earlier this year found people who have high self-control tend to experience less of those things that cause impulsive behavior such as fatigue, hunger, and stress: We found that trait…

The Half-Life of Investment Strategies

“The facts of the present won’t sit still for a portrait. They are constantly vibrating, full of clutter and confusion.” – William Macneile Dixon When I was growing up dinosaurs were described as slow, cold-blooded, reptilian, and not very colorful. New research has determined that many dinosaurs were in fact fast and could have been…

Animal Spirits Episode 42: Funding Secured

On this week’s Animal Spirits with Michael & Ben we discuss: Elon Musk and the prospects for Tesla actually going private. Was “funding secured” one of the best days ever on Twitter? Why are stock buybacks now the scapegoat for wealth inequality? How could we actually fix wealth inequality? Why housing plays such a large…