Posts filed under “Investing”
It’s a basic form of storytelling, used in countless books and movies: Two people, in similar circumstances, confronted by difficult choices. One does what is right, even if it seems like the harder choice. He fights through the many challenges, has moments of self-doubt and worry, before ultimately being rewarded. The other takes the easy way out. For a brief time, he appears to be ahead, before the shortcut is discovered, and ultimately receives the deserved comeuppance.
It’s a narrative technique as old as the Bible. It’s a staple of rom-coms, sci-fi flicks and adventure movies.
The investment version of this in playing out today in California in two different pension funds for public employees. There is little doubt how this movie is going to end.
The antihero in this story are the gamblers who run the retirement portfolio for the San Diego County public-pension system. Why gamblers? Because of this, as reported by San Diego Union-Tribune:
In April, pension board members unanimously approved a new investment strategy that dramatically increases use of “leverage,” a form of borrowing…. The county’s remarkably transparent goal is to raise the risk of losses in hopes of lifting returns, because the government and its workers haven’t saved enough to fully fund checks promised to retirees in the future.
My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. This morning, we revisit the advantages the long term passive indexer has versus short term active traders. The print version had the full headline The trader can narrow the gap but won’t win, while online, it was called No matter what, the long-term investor comes out ahead…Read More
Last month, I spilled a considerable number of pixels explaining why Rupert Murdoch’s Time Warner bid had no significance to whether or not this is a market top. My short list included complaints of cherry picked data that somehow ignored most of Murdoch’s M&A activity over the past half century; a laughably small sample size…Read More
In sports, all great competitors know that they have a choice, even when confronted with daunting, insurmountable odds. They can lay down and let the larger, stronger opponent run up the score. Or they can find a way to compete, to make a game of it. A good loss is a dignified way to show…Read More
Slipping back into my regular routine is sometimes a challenge after a few days of traveling. The first day back in the markets — especially following a week like we had to end July and begin August — can be a bit of an adjustment. A few days away allows the accumulation of jaded skepticism…Read More
A Simple Strategy for Shaking Confirmation Bias Brett N. Steenbarger, Ph.D. One of the most insidious cognitive biases affecting investors and traders is confirmation bias. Once we hold a particular view, we tend to prefer processing information that fits with that view. What’s worse is that, because of our bias blind spots, we…Read More
So you’re the world’s greatest trader®? Taxes will fix that. Barry Ritholtz Washington Post, July 27 2014 Imagine the following: You, the investor, believe you have an uncanny skill at picking stocks. You set up an online trading account and begin to buy and sell. As it turns out, you are quite good….Read More
Tadas Viskanta in the founder and editor of Abnormal Returns which has garnered a loyal following in the investment blogosphere. He is also the author of Abnormal Returns: Winning Strategies from the Frontlines of the Investment Blogosphere. ~~~ Two and half years ago in this space I published a post arguing that there had never…Read More
One of the oldest rules on Wall Street is, don’t fight the Fed. When the Federal Reserve is cutting rates, you want to be long equities, and when it is tightening, get out of the way. This has been a cause for concern since the Fed began talking of tapering its program of quantitative easing…Read More
> My Sunday Washington Post business section column is out. This morning, we look at the impact of taxes on personal trading accounts. The print version used the headline A harsh reality for all you stellar active traders; the online version is So you’re the world’s greatest trader? Taxes will fix that. The bottom line…Read More