My Time on the Sell Side

“Wall street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.” – Warren Buffett My first experience in the investment industry was during my senior year of college. I spent an entire semester working for a group of sell side analysts. This is…

Financial Matters

“If I were an executive coach, I would try to focus each individual on the facets they can control. Emphasizing what’s in your control allows you to adopt an attitude of equanimity toward luck. You’ve done all that you can, and from there you have to live with the results—good or bad.” – Michael Mauboussin…

Why Does the Cycle of Fear and Greed Persist?

“Truth be told, if you keep buying high and selling low, you should stay out of the stock market, because you’re losing money. Your primary goal as an investor should be not to lose money.” – Carl Richards In summer of 2009, I sat in on a panel discussion consisting of 3 or 4 portfolio…

William Bernstein on the Definition of Risk

“Short-term crashes can be painful, but long-term returns are far more important to wealth creation and destruction.” – Cliff Asness Deep Risk was my favorite of the William Bernstein trilogy of Investing for Adults series of Kindle books. He sets out to show how investors should think about the stock market and then gives a couple of…

A Lesson in Portfolio Correlations

“It seems like the higher mathematics with more false precision should help you but it doesn’t. They teach that in business schools because, well, they’ve got to do something.” – Charlie Munger I received a number of comments on my Do You Need Commodities in Your Portfolio? post from fans of investing in commodities. Many…

5 Questions

“If I ask you what’s the risk in investing, you would answer the risk of losing money. But there actually are two risks in investing: One is to lose money and the other is to miss opportunity. You can eliminate either one, but you can’t eliminate both at the same time. So the question is…

The Small Cap Value Cycle

Investors have had plenty to deal with since 1999: the technology bust, a real estate crash, failing banks, a weak economy, the near-collapse of the European Union, endless doom and gloom talk of “geopolitical risk” and the usual market fluctuations. Yet from 1999 to 2013, the Wilshire Small Cap Value Index was still up a…

An Investing Master’s Degree in History & Math

“Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day.” — Charlie Munger Following The Four Abilities Every Investor Needs to be Successful post from a few weeks ago, I received a number of reader requests for book recommendations to learn more about financial market history and…

How Financial Advisors Can Fend Off the Robots

“When clients pay attention to noise, we call it dumb. When advisors do it, we call it research.” – Carl Richards Business Insider ran the following graph with data from a recent Oxford University study on the jobs that are most at risk of being replaced by robots in the future (click to enlarge): I’ve…

Beware Stock Picks From Your Favorite Media Pundit

“Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.” – Warren Buffett The Mutual Fund Observer by David Snowball is fast becoming one of my favorite investing reads. He packs his monthly update with a ton of information and analysis on mutual funds, investment strategies, portfolio managers and the markets at-large. In the latest edition…