This post is by David Merkel from The Aleph Blog
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In my view, these were my best posts written between August 2015 and October 2015:
The currently final episode on my investing errors, covering the last eight years. Note that Valero has made me five times on my initial investment, though, and I still own it now. This piece has more of the bright side of what I learned.
“None of the ways I mentioned for getting more money for spending out of investments is likely to produce a lot of additional spending in aggregate across the economy. As a result, I think that the Executive Branch, the Congress, and the Federal Reserve should be cautious of trying to make asset values rise, or encourage more borrowing against assets. It will likely not have any significant to grow the economy over the intermediate -to-long term.”
A hypothetical piece for a company that wants to pay its shareholders more, but wants to do it in a more tax-efficient way.
This is a very realistic look at the issues surrounding retirement, and how to fund it. it is very frank, and accurate in terms of what is possible.
Quarterly earnings reporting is necessary for proper oversight. If we did not have earnings guidance, a cottage industry would grow up to give it because investors want to know whether companies are performing adequately or not.
This is one of the most important concepts in financial planning. When will you need the assets to provide spending money?
This is an idea that rarely works. Why do people fool themselves and chase fads?
A full answer to the question, “When do I invest cash balances?” Hint: a middling solution is usually best. Don’t be too bold or too timid.
This is a tough question, but I give a clear answer:
Now, since I set up the eight rules, I have doubled down maybe 5-6 times over the last 15 years. In other words, I haven’t done it often. I turn a single-weight stock into a double-weight stock if I know:
- The position is utterly safe, it can’t go broke
- The valuation is stupid cheap
- I have a distinct edge in understanding the company, and after significant review I conclude that I can’t lose
In general, the best investing anticipates likely changes. By the time a change is revealed, it is too late to make investment decisions.
I suggested at the time that there were too many investors buying distressed energy assets, many of which went broke.
Why to be careful when the financial sector grows too large.
I suggest that nonfinancial corporates may be the next financial crisis. This is looking more likely now.
This is a less-known truth: you can’t catch the bottom or the top, particularly if you have a large portfolio to manage.
Why most bank cash flow testing stinks, and how to improve it.
Bonds are illiquid, aside from the cash that they regularly throw off. That’s normal; get used to it.
A theoretical discussion about what assets are worth, settling on the unhappy idea that it is utterly relative, and that changing macroeconomic situations can affect things markedly.
Having a small cash hoard is better than no cash hoard
I disembowel the idea that it doesn’t matter how large the salesman’s commission is.
An interesting piece on marriage, and how to make things work out, even when there are economic disagreements.
“The basic idea of retirement investing is how to convert present excess income into a robust income stream in retirement. Managing a pile of assets for income to live off of is a challenge, and one that most people are not geared up for, because poor planning and emotional decisions lead to subpar results.”