Coaching Success

By | 2017-07-17T12:34:45+00:00 October 16th, 2012|Global Market Update, Investing|

Coaching Success  –  What makes for a good manager? It’s an important question. Because when you invest, ultimately you’re trusting management with your money. Whether you’re investing in stocks, bonds, or real estate, how effective the boss is can determine what kind of return you get. […]

The Curse of Size

By | 2012-10-09T08:51:22+00:00 October 9th, 2012|Global Market Update, Investing|

The Curse of SizeIs bigger always better?In America we are accustomed to think that the larger something is, the better. Larger companies tend to have broader product lines; larger cities offer more cultural amenities; larger markets are usually more diversified. But sometimes size can be a hindrance to doing business. […]

A Phony Economy

By | 2012-09-14T09:01:12+00:00 September 14th, 2012|Economics, Global Market Update, Investing|

A Phony Economy – Will the iPhone help the economy? I’m not talking about the improved speed and screen size. That’s part of a general trend in cell phones that has been going on for years. Mobile computing is part of a technological cycle that allows us to work—and consume—more efficiently. […]

Three Crises in One

By | 2012-08-17T10:44:27+00:00 August 17th, 2012|Economics, Global Market Update, Investing|

Do bad things come in threes? The European crisis isn’t just one crisis, but three interlocking ones. A banking crisis, a sovereign debt crisis, and a growth crisis all connect and make it difficult to find a comprehensive solution. The banking crisis is pretty straightforward: the major European banks are undercapitalized and face liquidity issues. This has been an issue for a long time, but it was worsened by our mortgage crisis. The losses that large European banks took on mortgage bonds that were [...]

A Rose is a Rose

By | 2017-07-17T12:34:47+00:00 August 9th, 2012|Economics, Global Market Update, Investing, The Stock Market|

A Rose is a RoseWhat makes a stock expensive?It’s a truism to say that the way to make money in the market is to buy low and sell high. What goes into a stock price to make it cheap or expensive? It isn’t the dollar price: Apple shares at $600 are generally considered to be cheaper than Facebook shares at $20. That’s because Apple earned $42 / share over the past year, has $30 of cash / share on hand, and plans to pay [...]

Why do some economies grow, while others don’t ?

By | 2012-07-31T08:40:42+00:00 July 31st, 2012|Global Market Update, Investing, Investing|

Why do some economies grow, while others don’t? In his magnum opus, “The Origins of Political Order,” Francis Fukuyama argues that democracy is a stool that stands on three legs: a centralized state, political accountability of the state’s leaders, and the rule of law. Without any one of these elements, democracy is not possible. By happenstance, those three factors correspond to the three branches of US Government—executive, legislative, and judicial. Contrary to some utopian dreams, a truly weak state doesn’t safeguard liberty. It facilitates [...]

The Failure Effect?

By | 2012-05-25T06:44:08+00:00 May 25th, 2012|Investing|

Will Facebook forever live under the cloud of its lousy IPO?As revelations keep coming in about bankers behaving badly, company executives making rookie errors, and institutional investors bailing at the last minute, it’s helpful to remember: we’ve seen this movie before.Back in 2004 Google had troubles with its public offering. The pricing was in question. The number of shares was in question. The principals used a quirky auction IPO to cut out Wall Street. Then, in the middle of all this uncertainty, Playboy published [...]

Toxic Secrecy

By | 2017-07-17T12:34:54+00:00 May 18th, 2012|Global Market Update, Investing|

Usually it’s a good idea to keep your mouth shut. But not always.Last year, Brian Dunn, the newly installed CEO of Best Buy, developed a close personal relationship with a junior female worker. This kind of thing is bad for company morale. Among other things, it’s hard to oversee someone who is chummy with the new Chief. The Chairman and founder, Richard Schulze, was informed about it and confronted Mr. Dunn. When Dunn denied the allegations, Schulze let the matter drop. That was a [...]

The Death of Investing?

By | 2017-07-17T12:34:54+00:00 May 11th, 2012|Global Market Update, Investing|

What goes around comes around.Mark Twain famously noted that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes. That is, there are broad themes that tend to reoccur, often generationally. Investors often forget or ignore the past, so they have a habit of giving in to their emotions and believing the stories that get peddled by fear-mongers or hope-machines, extrapolating past trends and ignoring the likelihood of regression to the mean.We won’t see another tech bubble again anytime soon: no online grocer is going to [...]