This Is Not Bearish

The S&P 500 just made an all-time high for the 11th time this year, and the 1134th time since 1928. Today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed 19,000 for the first time ever. The natural inclination is that now might not be the best time to put new money to work. The data doesn’t support this,…

When History Suddenly Becomes Irrelevant

“The fact that something so unthinkable could occur has had a lasting impact on my view of life and on investing in particular” – Peter Bernstein I’m extremely proud of the event we put on this week, the Evidence-Based Investing conference. There were a lot of like-minded investors in the room and on the stage,…

Making Sense When There is No Sense to be Made

Our brains were built to save us from ourselves. We misremember the past and pretend we can predict the future. We’re able to make sense of things when there is no sense to be made. Here’s an example- I was staying at a hotel a few weeks ago in San Diego and I walked into…

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…