Buggin out in 2014

Barry Ritholtz said something that really hit home. He eloquently stated, “In a diversified portfolio some asset classes will be lagging, and some leading; this is a feature not a bug.” With dividends reinvested and no fees, the S&P 500 returned over 13% in 2014. The portfolios I manage garnered less than half of that….

Three Investment Lessons from Coolio

“They say I gotta learn, but nobody’s here to teach me. If they can’t understand it, how can they reach me?” These words, written by the rapper Coolio, are from the title song of the 1995 film “Dangerous Minds” starring Michele Pfeiffer. The story of the idealistic teacher saving the souls of impoverished and neglected…

Do you Want to Make Money? Invest like George Costanza!

In a classic Seinfeld episode, the perpetual loser George Costanza decides to make a dramatic change to his life. Since his decision-making process has proven to be highly questionable in the past (e.g., pushing women and children out of the way to escape when a fire breaks out at a party), George decides to do…

Dear Santa

If anyone needs a batch of presents from the jolly fat man in red, it is the commonly abused individual investor. A wish list that would defend them from the charlatans, miscreants, and scoundrels that try to separate them from their money would fit nicely under the Norway Spruce. I have compiled such a list…

“Try Not to Be Consistently Stupid”

When asked about his firm’s investing acumen, Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet’s right hand man had this to say: “We continue to try more to profit from always remembering the obvious than from grasping the esoteric….it is remarkable how much a long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead…

Testing 29% of a person’s potential is a failing grade

There is much wrong with our current system of public education. Many of us are innumerate and have a primitive knowledge of basic finance. Contrast this to the fact many graduates of our schools have received mediocre grades yet have gone on to change the world. What gives? Most students are evaluated on only two…

403beware !

Rodney Dangerfield received “no respect” from his son in the 1986 film “Back to School”. Thankfully, the actor who played his son inhabits parts unknown, but the lack of respect for teachers’ finances is very much prevalent. Most teachers are modern-day versions of Rodney Dangerfield based on the way they have been treated by the…

Goodfella’s or Goldman???

“Leave the gun, take the cannolis.” This classic line from “The Godfather” is pretty easy to understand. This is a stark contrast from the smorgasbord of investment products offered up by the Alchemists employed by some of Wall Street’s biggest firms. While Goodfella, Henry Hill was a thug, his “customers” clearly knew where they stood…

The Walking Dead

Persia, Detroit, Blockbuster Video, and the New York Yankees. These seemingly unrelated words have one common attribute: Each failed to embrace change and became extinct or irrelevant. As we speak, the world is undergoing a massive shift in the way knowledge is being disseminated. The idea that an organization can be built by acquiring knowledge…

Uninformed Investors often suffer Catatstrophic Losses

A catastrophic loss is defined as a stock suffering a 70% or greater permanent loss. This means someone bought a stock at 10 and it went down to 3 and never went back up. Sadly this is the fate of many stocks. Since 1980 about 40% of the stocks in the Russell 3000 index suffered…