Michael Batnick

Waiting For Normal

“This oscillation is one of the most dependable features of the investment world, and investor psychology seems to spend much more time at the extremes than it does at a happy medium” – Howard Marks These are not normal times investors are living in. The Fed has held short-term interest rates at zero for six…

When Reason Failed

People whose job is to report on the news in real time are forced to provide answers to their audience. Because price generally changes prior to the news, reasons provided often miss the mark, to be polite. Here’s a great example of that from When Genius Failed “Secretary Rubin, back from salmon fishing in Alaska, tried…

Breadth and Major Market Tops

Conventional wisdom goes that prior to market tops, the major averages become more reliant on just a handful of stocks to lead the rally. When stocks are making new highs, it’s important to look at breadth indicators because indices can pull a nasty trick of masking what is actually happening to the majority of stocks….

How Should We Think About Past Performance?

Show people the following chart and one hundred percent will choose to invest in the blue line. The blue line represents the Russell 2000 Value Index and the red line is the Russell 2000 Growth Index. The problem with long term charts like these, especially for the laymen, is that this greatly oversimplifies things. The…

The Challenge of Long-Term Investing

Barry’s Masters in Business series keeps getting better and better. A few weeks back he spoke with Leon Cooperman, and more recently he interviewed the brilliant Howard Marks. When a Marks memo hits Warren Buffett’s inbox, he reads it immediately. That’s the sort of thinker the founder of Oaktree Capital is. Howard Marks has been…

How Much Does Experience Matter?

There is a great scene in Moneyball where legendary scout Grady Fuson and Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane are talking about the evolution of the game. Fuson is from the old school and thinks there are some things numbers just can’t tell you that intuition can. There are a lot of parallels between sports…

What You Need to Know About the 200-Day Moving Average

On Monday, for the first time since October 2014, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed beneath its 200-day moving average. Many people wonder what the implications for this might be. Do stocks bounce right here and if so, how long can we expect them to hold? The truth is that speculating on where they go…

When Everyone’s Watching

“It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Buffett The S&P 500 just experienced its first negative two percent day since October 2014, when Ebola was the crisis du jour. Today, all but five of the S&P 500 stocks were…

With All Due Respect, Mr. Icahn

Carl Icahn is a brilliant investor with a proven history of delivering excellent returns. In fact, he just rode Netflix from the high fifties all the way to seven-hundred bucks a share in just under three years; an annualized return of around 130%! Icahn took over a major airline when I was literally in diapers…