Bad Markets and 52-Week Lows

The S&P 500 just closed at a 52-week low (January 20) for the first time since October 2011. The 1079 days between 52-week closing lows is the fourth longest streak of all time. I went back and looked at what happened in years that experienced a closing low versus those that didn’t and the results…

Exact Appraisal Impossible

The Intelligent Investor is the first book I ever read on investing and I pay homage to it as the namesake of my blog. Although what I do could not be more dissimilar than the value investing practiced by Benjamin Graham, it’s hard to overstate the impact reading this book had on me. Shortly after…

Exposing the Flaws

Even if I go into a store with the intention of buying something, I get uncomfortable when somebody asks me if I need help. I’m not sure what causes this reaction but I think I’m like most people in the sense that I dislike being sold. I wanted to share an interesting story about selling…

Will This Volatility Continue?

The S&P 500 has been up or down 1% in 7 out the first 11 days (63%) of 2016. We’re only 5% through the year but I feel pretty confident saying this volatility will not persist. However if it does, the good news is that the last time more than 60% of all days was…

It Was The Best of Days, It Was The Worst of Days

“Time in the market, not timing the market” is the rallying cry for buy and hold investors. Charts like the one below show the damage an investor would have done if they missed out on just the best 25 days (out of 11,620) since 1970. If  you somehow managed to do this,  your returns would have…

What’s Going On?

“What the hell’s going on out here?” Vince Lombardi The S&P 500 began the first ten days of the year with an 8% loss, it’s worst opening performance ever. While there are 475 different 10-day periods worse than the 2016 open, the 8% decline was still pretty bad, faring worse than 98% of all ten-day…

Money of the Mind

Joseph Ellis’s The Quartet tells the fascinating story of the birth of our nation. After the Revolutionary War, the states faced enormous challenges and as he tells it,  Hamilton, Washington, Jay and Madison were among those most responsible for bringing it all together. I wanted to share with you an interesting passage about Robert Morris,…

The Recent Warnings

According to the American Association of Individual Investors, just 18% of people expect stocks to rise over the next six months. Retail investors haven’t been less enthusiastic about the market since 2005. The chart below from Goldman’s “The Last Innings” shows a similar picture of how lukewarm mom and pop investors are on stocks. While…

What if You Were the World’s Best Market Timer?

Most of the time I’m writing for the laymen investor. Nothing I’m sharing is particularly actionable as I believe 99% of investors are better off thinking than acting. Traders and hedge fund managers don’t need my help, but hopefully the average investor who reads my blog is able to learn a few things about common…

The Worst Start Ever

If you’re reading this, you probably already know..Stocks are off to their worst start ever. But is it really THAT bad? What if we remove the January 1 anchor? The 7.52% drop is the just the 395th worst eight-day period on record. To quote the great Rocky Balboa…