My Portfolio

I tweeted this last night as stock market futures were down around 5%. I'm buying U.S. stocks tomorrow. Don't care if I'm early, I've got a few decades. — Irrelevant Investor (@michaelbatnick) November 9, 2016 I got a lot of feedback on this, mostly positive, but some decidedly negative, sprinkled in with a little name…

What Is Democracy?

Will Durant answered this question so eloquently in The Lessons of History- I thought tonight would be an appropriate time to review the words he wrote half a century ago. “Democracy is the most difficult of all forms of government, since it requires the widest spread of intelligence, and we forgot to make ourselves intelligent…

Living In Multiple Timeframes

Stocks always have a positive expected return. With the passage of time however, these expected returns turn into realized returns and obviously they’re not always positive. We just can’t know what the market will deliver, so it’s best to plan and prepare for a wide range of outcomes. This range is determined by a number…

Please, Give Me a Break

2016 got off to a volatile start, it felt like every day was either up or down one percent. In fact, when I made this chart on March 11th, 28 of the first 46 days of the year fit this criteria. Now seven months later, that number has fallen off a cliff, collapsing to just…

It’s Getting Out of Control

Listen, I’m a huge advocate of actual index funds, but certain fund families are taking way too much liberty with the word “index” these days. The stock market is now being sliced thinner than a piece of prosciutto. If you want to own Apple, but don’t feel strongly enough to own the common stock, fear not, for…

Here’s Why Technical Analysis Gets a Bad Rap

There are a lot of people who don’t believe in the merits of technical analysis. It doesn’t make sense to them that you can look at past price movements and determine future price movements. If stock prices are driven by earnings, how can a chart provide any insight? Well, yea, stocks are driven by earnings…

Caught Up in the Minutiae

The recent Wall Street Journal article, The Dying Business of Picking Stocks, has generated a lot of buzz over the last day and a half. Despite the tidal wave of money going out of stock picking and into indexes, and the thousands of articles that accompany them, it’s still not entirely clear what it means to be…

Genius Does Not Always Understand Itself

Today on The Halftime Report’s fifth anniversary show, legendary investor Carl Icahn was asked for his thoughts about the market. At one point he says that he looks for “things that are obvious, but not apparent.” I thought this was an interesting sound bite, but what does that really even mean?  While many of the…

When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain

A good litmus test for whether or not I enjoyed a book is to go back and see how often I marked it up. This one passes the test, my pen got a lot of exercise during the reading of  Giles Milton’s When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain. I’d guess just 10% of…

Looking Back at the End of a Secular Bear Market

This week in 1982 marked a major milestone in the history of the stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 1,000- its highest levels in nearly a decade- and it was on the precipice of saying sayonara to a 16-year bear market. A new secular bull market was right around the corner and…