Ben Carlson joins Ritholtz Wealth Management

I’m beyond excited to share the news that Ben Carlson is joining Ritholtz Wealth Management to lead our Institutional Asset Management. I have followed Ben’s work since he began writing at his blog- and now a book– A Wealth of Common Sense in February, 2013. Ben has rapidly grown into the Jason Zweig of my…

The More Things Change…

“There can be few fields of human endeavor in which history counts for so little as in the world of finance. Past experience, to the extent that it is part of memory at all, is dismissed as the primitive refuge of those who do not have the insight to appreciate the incredible wonders of the…

DIY Financial Advisor

I’m a big fan of the Alpha Architect team. What really struck me when I first met these guys is how knowledgable, yet humble they are. Like many quants, they understand the limitations of the human brain, which has led them on their search for evidence-based investing. Nobody pumps out more quality data-driven stuff on…

Addicted to the Game

Last night Ray Dalio of Bridgewater, a hedge fund managing roughly $170 billion, was asked if he was stepping back. He clarified what he meant, stating that he will take a lesser managerial role. However, when it comes to being involved in the markets, here was his response: “I’m an addict, I can’t stop. I…

Too Many Maybes

The SPIVA U.S. Scorecard results are out and as is usually the case, active managers had a difficult time keeping up with their respective benchmarks. Before we examine some of the results, it’s worth mentioning that SPIVA accounts for the entire opportunity set, which eliminates survivorship bias. Being that 23% of domestic equity funds were…

Is High Frequency Trading Socially Useful?

This was a question asked of Jim Simons a few weeks after the “Flash Crash” of 2010. In just a few minutes, investors were given a taste of what could go wrong in today’s world where high frequency trading is responsible for ~50% of all daily trades. Here is some of what Simons had to…

It’s A Revolution

As the revolution in “smart beta” rolls on, what’s important for investors to know is that many of these products are just factor investing in disguise. Run a regression on many of these strategies and what you will find is they are overweight value stocks and small stocks, strategies that have been known and in…

Totally Absorbed

One of the many seductions of dabbling in the stock market is the potential for lottery winners. Look at the returns these stocks have generated since going public: Starbucks: ~18,000% Amazon: ~21,000% Apple: ~28,000% Microsoft: ~72,000% Disney: 128,000% What many investors don’t know or don’t seem to care about is that for every Apple, there…

Hear Me Now

I recently sat down with Aaron Watson to discuss how I wound up where I am today. Aaron had a similar experience to me in the insurance world and reached out to me for some advice. I met with Aaron and happily agreed to do a podcast with him. We spoke about my beginnings and…

Patterned By Birth

What if stocks experience their third separate bear market in under twenty years? What would that do to the psychology of investors? For the purpose of this exercise, please allow me to reach a little (I’ll explain later). If the S&P 500 were to fall 25% from its peak over the next twelve months (~16%…