Marching Portfolios

By |2019-10-02T07:37:56-04:00September 6th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Did you ever play in a band? Photo: Manseok Kim. Source: Pixabay. License. I did in high school. It was a small affair, and we weren’t very good. There were only about a dozen of us: a couple of flutes, clarinets, and a bassoon, some trumpets and trombones, a drummer, and I played the French horn. Our school didn’t have a big instrumental tradition, and the school itself was pretty small. But we had a lot of fun, and we learned a lot about [...]

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Raking Up

By |2018-11-08T07:00:42-04:00November 8th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have we gotten ready for winter, yet? Photo: Wendy. Source: Flikr. CC-BY-2.0 One of my least favorite jobs every year is raking leaves. It’s cold, lonely work. If I use gloves, I have a hard time picking debris out of the tines of the rake when they get stuck – which they always do around the garden and shrubbery beds, getting caught with the old plants and weeds. I used to be annoyed at my swollen hands, afterward. Now I wonder if the raking [...]

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The Most Important Think …

By |2018-08-13T07:05:39-04:00August 13th, 2018|Global Market Update|

What’s the most important thing to know about investing? La Pensadora by Jose Luis Fernandez. Source: Wikimedia Is it values and valuation? No. Economics and market history? Nope. Stocks, bonds, and asset allocation? Uh-uh. Corporate finance and fundamental analysis? Heavens, no. All these things are important and something every investor should be familiar with. But the most important factor for any investor to “get” is the self-factor: our own personal objectives, limitations, insights, and personal – or personality – issues that helps us when [...]

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Hearing the Sirens’ Song

By |2018-04-11T05:42:39-04:00April 11th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Investing is an odyssey Photo: Gerhard Bögner. Source: Pixabay There’s a passage in Homer’s Odyssey that describes the Sirens – beautiful creatures with the faces of girls and the bodies of birds. Their magical song promises untold, wonderful knowledge, but it will actually lure sailors to their deaths upon the reefs that surround the Sirens’ island. Watch out, Odysseus is warned. If he listens to them, he’ll never get home. But Odysseus wants to hear their song. When he gets close to the island, [...]

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One Shot

By |2017-11-10T07:09:03-04:00November 10th, 2017|Global Market Update|

We each get one shot. Promotional Poster. Source: Wikipedia Early in the hip-hop musical “Hamilton,” the title character sings, “I’m not throwing away my shot.” The catchy tune is mesmerizing, and it’s reprised several times throughout the play. It’s both iconic and ironic. At the end of the play – as in real life – Hamilton throws away his shot in his duel with Aaron Burr, and is then killed by Burr’s bullet. It reportedly took playwright/composer/lyricist/director Lee-Manuel Miranda over a year to write [...]

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The Signal and the Noise (Part 1)

By |2017-07-17T12:21:17-04:00June 12th, 2017|Global Market Update|

How can we concentrate on what matters? Radio frequency doubler. Source: Wikipedia Between Twitter and newspapers and talking-heads and junk mail proclaiming the next turn in the market, what’s a long-term investor to do? How can we stay focused on what we need to know without being distracted by all the noise? The first step is to understand that most of what’s on the airwaves is static—background verbal clutter of no more consequence than elevator music. The real news that matters for your investing [...]

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Investing Rationally?

By |2017-07-17T12:21:37-04:00November 29th, 2016|Global Market Update|

What do investors want? Photo: Simon Steinberger. Source: Pixabay Fifty years ago analysts assumed that all investors should care about is getting high returns with low risk. People who traded a lot, or concentrated their portfolios, or did something other than what conventional finance recommended were labeled irrational. But what we do seems rational to us at the time. A dress from Filene’s Basement may be just as functional as a $2,000 designer dress, but it may not be as beautiful, or it may [...]

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Buy, Sell, or Jump?

By |2017-07-17T12:21:51-04:00August 11th, 2016|Global Market Update|

Is the market on the edge of a cliff? Photo: Mercy from Wikimedia Commons: Source: Wikipedia That’s what a lot of smart people are saying. They cite our political mess, our slow-growth economy, negative interest rates in Europe and Japan, rising corporate leverage, and accounting tricks and they figure a crash must be coming. So, with the stock market flirting with record highs and bond yields near record lows, is it time to sell everything? The short answer is, probably not. It’s almost never [...]

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On Tipping (Part 1)

By |2017-07-17T12:21:53-04:00July 20th, 2016|Global Market Update|

Psst: want a quick stock tip? Photo: Stuart J. Whitmore. Source: Morguefile Lots of folks ask me for a quick tip. It’s natural when they hear that I help people manage their money. After all, if you can find the next 10-bagger before it goes parabolic, you could spin the straw of your savings account into retirement gold. Or we think. But investing isn’t like that. It’s not about getting lucky. When we invest, we put our money to work among economic enterprises where [...]

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Driving, Putting, and Asset Allocation

By |2017-07-17T12:22:08-04:00February 19th, 2016|Global Market Update|

“Drive for show, putt for dough.”     Bob Hope putting in the Oval Office. Photo: Oliver Atkins. Source: National Archives. That’s an old golf saying – attributed to Bobby Locke, the South African golfer dominant in the ‘40s and ‘50s. He won the British Open four times in eight years. He was so good that he was banned from the PGA Tour. He didn’t drive the ball very far from the tee, but on the putting greens he was a genius. He had [...]

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