Looking For The Next Amazon

Amazon is the sixth largest company in the S&P 500 by market cap. Incredibly, they wear this crown despite having earned less than 121 different companies over the previous twelve months. It’s no secret that Amazon is an expensive stock.  Even if Bezos were to capture 100% of the total retail revenue, its price-to-earnings ratio…

Normal Accidents

The S&P 500 is about to wrap up its eight consecutive year of positive returns. If this continues into next year, it would match the longest streak of all-time. For some context, in the nine years from 1991-1999, the S&P 500 gained 450%; In the recent 8 year period, the S&P 500 is up 193%….

Time Is All You Have

“Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think.” – Randy Pausch When I finished reading When Breath Becomes Air, my wife walked into our bedroom and found me with tears running down my face. I’m not talking about a single renegade tear that fought its…

Mindless Investing Slays Another Giant

Odey Asset Management, a London hedge fund which was seeded by George Soros in 1991, is having a rough year. The fund has lost nearly half its value, because “Passive investing has taken money which typically would have been in the bond market and deposited it in the equity market.” I cannot imagine how an investor feels…

Rationally Irrational

Human beings do not do well with decisions.  Whether we’re wrestling with who to start in fantasy football, which line to get on at the store, which stock to buy, or even what to choose from on a dinner menu, there are certain glitches in our brain that are really hard to avoid. We anchor to…

Self-Examination

Richard Feynman once said “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.” This is true in all walks of life- we think we’re better looking than we really are, we think we’re smarter, better drivers, better parents, and better children. Of all the places…

All Indexes Are Not Created Equal

Small value stocks are up 25.5% YTD. Small value stocks are up 32.5% YTD. Nope, that’s not a typo. The first one represents Vanguard’s ETF, VBR. The second and better performing small-cap value ETF is IWN, from iShares. As you can see from the chart below, they were neck and neck until the election, and…

Even With Perfect Information

Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal recently had Victgor Haghani, co-founder of LTCM and CEO of Elm Partners Management, on the Odd Lots podcast. Haghani told a story about an experiment he did in which subjects were given a loaded coin. They were told that the coin will land on heads 60% of the time. The…

Aaron Brooks and Saving Money

Ben Carlson recently wrote about the parallels between dieting and personal finance. In both cases, we know exactly what we’re supposed to do, but just knowing is not nearly enough. Our brains function in such a way that sometimes it helps to completely remove our mind from the equation. Other times we have to introduce…

Don’t Fear the Reaper

In a recent Bloomberg article, Luke Kawa writes how investors are positioning themselves as interest rates rise: Cumulative inflows into the iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF (NEAR), Floating Rate Bond ETF, SPDR Bloomberg Barclays Short Term High Yield Bond ETF, PowerShares Senior Loan Portfolio , and the Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF  topped $400 million…