Trade wars, Dysfunctional Behavior, Tweets, Oh My!

Why Wall Street Isn’t Freaking About Trump Tariffs, trade wars! So what? This is what he promised as a candidate. Bloomberg, June 13, 2018,       Massive tariffs in new trade war! Ho hum. G7 Western Alliance Breaks Down! Yawn. Rifts Increase Possibility of Global Recession! Bor-ing. Ominous headlines have dominated the news since… Read More The post Trade wars, Dysfunctional Behavior, Tweets, Oh My! appeared first on The Big Picture.

Hierarchy of Portfolio Success

Ranking What Helps or Hurts Investment Returns …. Bloomberg, June 11. 2018     What drives the returns of any portfolio? Specifically, from the moment someone starts saving for retirement, until the day they begin to take their required minimum distribution at age 70½, what are the factors[i] that determine just how successful that portfolio… Read More The post Hierarchy of Portfolio Success appeared first on The Big Picture.

Is Smart Beta Having Performance Issues?

Smart Beta Performance Isn’t Worth the Cost The higher fees offset sporadically better returns. Bloomberg, June 8, 2018     Last summer, we looked at fundamental indexing, which is perhaps better known by the catchy marketing phrase “smart beta.”1  The practice uses metrics such as book value, earnings and dividend yield to assemble investment portfolios,… Read More The post Is Smart Beta Having Performance Issues? appeared first on The Big Picture.

The Bad Blood at Theranos

Theranos’ Fatal Flaws Were in Plain Sight With this many red flags, it’s a wonder the collapse didn’t come sooner. Bloomberg, May 30, 2018.     Last week, I previewed 10 books I want to tackle during the summer reading season. I finished the first one, “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley… Read More The post The Bad Blood at Theranos appeared first on The Big Picture.

Ignore the Millionaire Mindset; Try the Billionaire Behavior Set Instead

Never Mind the Millionaires. Here’s Advice From Billionaires. The richest offer life lessons about how they got where they are. Bloomberg, May 25, 2018         Last month, I described an email that promised vast riches if I would adopt “The Millionaire Mindset.” This is the sort of silly wishful thinking I hate:… Read More The post Ignore the Millionaire Mindset; Try the Billionaire Behavior Set Instead appeared first on The Big Picture.

Advice for Pension Funds and Endowments

How Public Pensions Can Start Healing Themselves A series of questions and answers can help. Bloomberg, May 21, 2018     Our discussion last week about representatives of the League of California Cities urging the CalPERS, the state’s huge pension fund for public employees, to juice up investment returns generated a lot of interesting feedback.… Read More The post Advice for Pension Funds and Endowments appeared first on The Big Picture.

We Should Fail Better

There’s a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Fail The options are: openly examine past mistakes and learn or avoid a reckoning and repeat them. Bloomberg, May 16, 2018     I have been thinking about errors, mistakes and failures ever since I traded my first stock decades ago. Good traders expect to be… Read More The post We Should Fail Better appeared first on The Big Picture.

Do you know what you don’t know?

A Tweetstorm That Every Investor Should Read A Wall Street veteran makes the case for acknowledging our ignorance. Bloomberg, May 11, 2018     Yesterday, James O’Shaughnessy posted a long and intriguing tweetstorm about investor ignorance. O’Shaughnessy is the chairman and founder of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC, and the author of the classic investing book… Read More The post Do you know what you don’t know? appeared first on The Big Picture.

Paying Alpha Prices for Beta

A Hedge-Fund Fee Plan That Only Charges for Alpha The industry had been paid a fortune for underperformance. That’s changing. Bloomberg, May 9, 2018     One of my biggest criticisms of the hedge-fund industry has been the mismatch between fund performance and management fees. A traditional fee structure of “2 and 20” (a 2… Read More The post Paying Alpha Prices for Beta appeared first on The Big Picture.

My Personal Infrastructure is Getting Better

Locals Fill Infrastructure Void Left by the Feds States and cities are improving rail lines, airports and electrical grids. Bloomberg, May 7, 2018     I have been discussing the sorry state of American infrastructure for years. My personal experience is that the U.S.’s infrastructure is bad, New York State’s is worse and New York City’s is… Read More The post My Personal Infrastructure is Getting Better appeared first on The Big Picture.

No Brexit

Brexit Failure Looks More Likely Every Day Too many things are lining up against the U.K. leaving the EU. Bloomberg, April 27, 2018     Today, I will violate one of my favorite principles, and hereby make this prediction: No Brexit! In other words, the U.K. will not exit the European Union. By 2023, we will… Read More The post No Brexit appeared first on The Big Picture.

Don’t Think like A Millionaire, Act Like A Billionaire

Boy, that escalated quickly. Much of what I write in these pages generates pushback – active vs passive, hedge fund performance and costs, folly of forecasts, etc. – but none pushes peoples’ button’s quite like challenging their favorite self-help gurus[i] and their aphorisms. I am oblivious to social cues, and the response to A Millionaire… Read More The post Don’t Think like A Millionaire, Act Like A Billionaire appeared first on The Big Picture.