Must-Reads of 2017: From Finance to Extinction Fama’s efficient markets. Dalio’s principles. A global wipeout. Bloomberg, December 7, 2017 Every year about this time, I make plans for my winter reading. The modern era of the written word is an embarrassment of riches; selecting the 10 that seem most worthwhile is a daunting task.…
Hedge Funds Had a Good Year, Just Not Good Enough And yet an industry with high fees and ho-hum performance continues to thrive. Bloomberg, January 12, 2018 Attention hedge-fund investors: I have some good news for you. I also have some not so good news. The good news is that 2017 saw… Read More The post Good News / Bad News for Hedge-Fund Investors appeared first on The Big Picture.
Betting Against Trump Was a Market-Beater The companies the president disparaged have done much better than those he favored. Bloomberg, January 10, 2018 Remember when President Donald Trump would call out a company by name, causing its stock price to gyrate madly, whacking a few billions off its market value with just one offhanded… Read More The post Revisiting the Trump Portfolios appeared first on The Big Picture.
Bigger Raises Might Be Coming in 2018 Thank tightening labor markets, higher minimum wages and steady growth. Bloomberg, January 8, 2018 Tight labor markets and rising minimum wages are leading to real pay increases for lots of Americans. These are two economic trends I have been writing about for the past several years. The tightening… Read More The post Pay Raise? Thank the States — And A Tight Job Market appeared first on The Big Picture.
Stocks Are Pricey? It Depends The real question is: Relative to what? Bloomberg, January 5, 2018 How cheap or expensive are stocks? This is one of the more interesting investing debates, and a very confusing question for institutions and individuals alike. It often leads to fear, paralysis or bad decision-making, or some… Read More The post How Much Should Fair Value Matter to Investors? appeared first on The Big Picture.
Taking Stock of a Very Weird Year in Markets Rarely have investors had such consistent, steady gains. That bodes well for the future. Bloomberg, January 3, 2018, 11:32 AM EST Last year was just plain weird. I am not referring to politics, although that certainly was one for the ages. Rather, I mean the technical state of… Read More The post 2017 Was a Technically Unusual Year appeared first on The Big Picture.
That Magazine Cover Doesn’t Make Apple Shares a ‘Sell’ The value of the signal here is just about zero. Bloomberg, December 27, 2017 The past weekend’s Barron’s cover showing Apple’s extravagant new headquarters and suggesting that the company’s market value would reach $1 trillion in 2018 generated some chatter from the usual suspects. An issue… Read More The post What Market Signals Are in Magazine Covers? appeared first on The Big Picture.
Markets, Music and a Defense of Wall Street Some random observations and thoughts to close out 2017. Bloomberg, December 22 2017 The year is winding down and, with it, my final column for 2017 (I’ll still do my daily reads for the rest of the year because I cannot help myself). Looking… Read More The post Random Thoughts to Wrap Up 2017 appeared first on The Big Picture.
A Strategy for Deciding When to Sell Bitcoin Maximizing gains is fine, but minimizing regrets counts for a lot too. Bloomberg, December 20, 2017 Running a money-management firm provides a window into the psyches of all kinds of people: long-term investors, real estate speculators, institutional traders, tech entrepreneurs and everyone in between. During… Read More The post When to Sell Bitcoin appeared first on The Big Picture.
Holiday Gifts for the Financier in Your Life A few ideas for what to give your favorite alpha- and beta-generators. Bloomberg December 18, 2017 We have only a week of Shopmas left, and if your list is anything like mine, you are down to those folks where it’s hard to decide. Choosing just the right bauble… Read More The post Shopmas Gifts for Your Favorite Wall Streeter 2017 appeared first on The Big Picture.
Wall Street Wises Up to the Folly of Forecasting One economist says what should be obvious: Making predictions only means you will be either wrong or lucky. Bloomberg, December 15, 2017 It is that time of year, when the financial industry engages in its annual ritual of making forecasts, which is usually… Read More The post Forecasting? Wall Street is Wising Up appeared first on The Big Picture.
Retailers Still Haven’t Caught Up to Millennials The children of baby boomers don’t seek personal fulfillment through shopping. Bloomberg, December 13, 2017 Last month I wrote up my annual tirade about the National Retail Federation holidaysales forecast. The NRF’s track record — it uses a deeply flawed methodology — is terrible. The group makes a silly prediction, I make… Read More The post Retail’s Woes? Much More Than Online appeared first on The Big Picture.
A Hedge Fund Giant Found Lots of Value in Failure The world’s biggest hedge fund springs from the wreckage of his monumental error. Bloomberg, December 11, 2017 By any conceivable measure, Ray Dalio, head of Bridgewater Associates LP, is a wild success. The founder of the world’s largest hedge fund with $160… Read More The post Ray Dalio on The Fine Art of Failure appeared first on The Big Picture.
Vanguard Begins Updating Its Investing Philosophy Founder Jack Bogle isn’t crazy about smart-beta and factor-based products, but the firm will offer them anyway. Bloomberg, December 4, 2017 As if it hasn’t done enough this year, Vanguard Inc. is shaking up the world of factor investing and smart beta by introducing six new exchange-traded funds and one mutual… Read More The post The Philosophical Evolution of Vanguard appeared first on The Big Picture.
Holiday Sales Forecasts Still Stink Just say no to unreliable methodologies. Bloomberg, November 22, 2017 It’s that time of year when we all gather to give thanks for our blessings, overindulge in various foodstuffs, and, of course, go shopping. Shopmas is also the time of the year when I call out the National Retail Federation for their bogus retail forecasts; they… Read More The post Black Friday Forecasts Still Suck appeared first on The Big Picture.
In Search of Market Signals in the $450 Million Da Vinci Price contains information, but how much does an outlier art sale say about stocks or the economy? Bloomberg, November 20, 2017 Economist Friedrich Hayek wrote that “price contains information.” So what information is contained in the almost a half billion-dollar price for a painting?… Read More The post What Does a $450M DaVinci Tell Us About Markets? appeared first on The Big Picture.
Tesla Keeps Scaring the Other Automakers Its cars are faster, while its innovations force the competition to play catch up. Bloomberg, November 17, 2017 Yesterday, Tesla Inc.1 founder and Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk introduced the company’s new electric-powered tractor trailer. The “Semi” goes 500 miles on a charge, uses Tesla’s semiautonomous driving system,… Read More The post Tesla’s New Supercar Trounces Ferrari appeared first on The Big Picture.
This week, I have been working on my annual mea culpas. The timing is fortuitous, cause I wrote something rather inelegantly that could easily be misinterpreted. Stated less generously, what I wrote was wrong, and this my official correction. In Nothing Trump Does Can Save Coal, I wrote: Despite all of that, coal generated most of… Read More The post Coal Correction appeared first on The Big Picture.
Nothing Trump Does Can Save Coal Don’t blame liberals and regulations; blame capitalism and technology. Bloomberg, November 15, 2017 On the campaign trail and in the White House, Donald Trump has warmly embraced coal. He has rolled back regulations on its use and eliminated some federal subsidies for alternative energies like solar and… Read More The post Coal’s Last Stand appeared first on The Big Picture.