Mid-Life Google?

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:40+00:00 August 17th, 2015|Global Market Update|

What’s a midlife crisis? Photo: Cameraplus. Source: Morguefile Joseph Campbell writes that a mid-life crisis happens when you climb to the top of the ladder and discover it’s against the wrong wall. Studies have found that after the kids grow up, once the career is settled, when signs of aging begin to show—sometime between age 40 and 60—a lot of folks begin to question what their life is really about. Sometimes they make erratic choices—changing jobs, buying fancy cars, obsessing over personal appearance, having [...]

China: Is That All There Is?

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:40+00:00 August 13th, 2015|Global Market Update|

What’s happening with the Chinese Yuan? Photo: Dodgerton Skillhause. Source: Morguefile When the People’s Bank of China devalued their currency by 2%, there was an immediate market reaction. Some other Asian currencies quickly followed—the Singapore Dollar, the Malaysian Ringgit. There was discussion of an impending currency war. Stock markets around the world tumbled. One month chart of Asian Currencies: Aussie Dollar (orange); Korean Won (red); Chinese Yuan (blue); Singapore Dollar (green); Malay Ringgit (yellow). Source: Bloomberg But I all I could think of was [...]

My Favorite Ratios (Part 2)

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:40+00:00 August 12th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings, These are a few of my favorite things Photo: Gracie Stinson. Source: Morguefile My favorite financial ratios combine a company’s efficiency at generating cash from its marketplace with a willingness to deliver cash to their shareholders. I focus on three indicators: Return on Invested Capital (ROIC), Cash from Operations divided by Net Income, and Shareholder Yield. It’s a fine theory, but how well does it work in practice? Let’s compare two wild geese, the [...]

My Favorite Ratios (Part 1)

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:40+00:00 August 11th, 2015|Global Market Update|

“When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad!” --The Sound of Music Photo: Anita Troy. Source: Morguefile When Julie Andrews sings about bright copper kettles and whiskers on kittens, she’s trying to calm her charges during a violent thunderstorm. When the market gets turbulent and frightening, I turn to my favorite indicators of financial performance. I’ve noted before how—sooner or later—stock market performance has to come back [...]

The Compleat Investor

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:40+00:00 August 10th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Is investing an art or a science? Woodcut by Louis John Rhead. Source: Wikepedia In 1653 Izaak Walton published “The Compleat Angler,” a short book on fishing. In this little treatise he compares angling to mathematics – something that can never be fully learned. There’s always a new approach or a new location or some novel piece of equipment. “But he that hopes to be a good angler,” Walton continues, “must not only bring an inquiring, searching, observing wit, but he must bring a [...]

Fishing for Beginners

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:40+00:00 August 7th, 2015|Global Market Update|

What do you need to start fishing? Photo: Natureworks. Source: Morguefile Not much: just a hook, a line, and a body of water. And the desire to catch a fish. I remember my 5-year old cousin wiggling her drop-line away from the sunnies approaching her hook, saying “No no fishy, you’re too small.” She was so cute that the adults in the boat barely noticed we were drifting dangerously close to a dam. As our desires grow, our gear gets more complex. There are [...]

Lucky Boats

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:41+00:00 August 6th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Are you good, or just lucky? Photo: BegoBego. Source: Morguefile Everyone who goes fishing has met them: folks who do everything wrong but still pull in fish after fish. They’re loud, their lines get fouled, they don’t have the right tackle, they go out at the wrong time—but they come back with a boat full of trophies. It’s tempting to say, “It works for them,” and change your own approach. But that would be a mistake. You can’t judge anglers by the size of [...]

Angling and Other Anglers

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:41+00:00 August 5th, 2015|Global Market Update|

“The majority is never right.” – Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People Photo: Francis Hannaway. Source: Wikipedia Have you ever been to a fishing tournament? At the starting time, dozens of boats roar off to their favorite fishing holes, which quickly become crowded. There are usually two winners: the one that pulls in the most weight and the one that catches the largest individual fish. In the US, there are over 30,000 fishing derbies every year. Watching a tournament can be fun. You [...]

Fishing for Value

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:41+00:00 August 4th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Finding valuable investments is a lot like finding a good place to fish. Photo: Volker Lekes. Source: Pixabay In both cases, you need to keep working at it. On its face, fishing is pretty simple: cast your lure out where the fish are biting and reel them in. In the same way, value investing is simple as well: find companies selling at a discount to their intrinsic value and buy them. A company selling below its intrinsic value offers investors a margin of safety. [...]

Fishing For Investments

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:41+00:00 August 3rd, 2015|Global Market Update|

Is investing like fishing? Photo: Trond Larsen. Source: Pixabay There are a lot of similarities. Both involve searching for something you can’t immediately see. Both require lots of patience. And both give you a deep sense of satisfaction when you’re successful. I grew up fishing. From before I could walk my parents would take me out in a launch. Some of our best family memories come from week-long fishing trips on the Canadian border—going out early in the morning, eating a shore lunch at [...]