Saturday, November 18th, 2017

Diversification – audio podcast

July 31, 2017 by  
Filed under Investing, Investor Behaviour

A discussion of the definition, meaning and application of the principle of diversification to the process of creating an investment portfolio.

Financial advisor value propositions

A discussion of how a financial advisor may add great value or perhaps none at all, depending on the subject in question.

Federal Budget 2016 changes tax rule about corporate class mutual funds

2016 Budget measure: Corporate Class Mutual Funds Canadian mutual funds can be in the legal form of a trust or a corporation. While most funds are structured as mutual fund trusts, many are also structured as mutual fund corporations (otherwise known as corporate class mutual funds). Corporate class funds offer investors different types of asset […]

They think… I know

In my experience, my business philosophy is different from many financial advisors.  Imagine you are meeting an advisor for an initial interview. The discussion likely centers on what you think you want. You might do a questionnaire that is supposed to assess your willingness to deal with “risk”.  Eventually, the advisor tells you he can […]

Why does pessimism sound so smart?

I came across this terrific article that talks about several reasons why the press, politicians and most everyone else tends to treat optimists like reckless cheerleaders and pessimists as intellectually captivating.  In Matt Ridley’s book “The Rational Optimist” he wrote: If you say the world has been getting better you may get away with being called […]

What do you think is happening?

For an audio version of this posting, please just click below to play it. . After four years without a market correction of any consequence, many people have become acclimatized to a stable and rising series of account statements.  As a side note, I believe the regulatory requirement for such frequent statements is in part […]

Investment value moves around the world

I recently met again with Lawrence Chin, co-manager of the Cundill Value Fund.  One of the things that frequently strikes me about the Cundill team’s work is how they search the world for deep value investment opportunities and how the best ones are so often found before the rest of the world gets excited about […]

Disregard all short term forecasts and predictions

When they feel uncertain, investors often look to the investment media for insights into how to position their portfolios. While reading the work of these forecasters and prognosticators may seem to provide compelling evidence you should “do something”, they usually add no real value and are more likely to detract value. As an example of this, one study tracked the […]

By and large, having few ideas is better

April 9, 2015 by  
Filed under Investing, Investor Behaviour

Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman is a world leader in studying investor behaviour and the psychology of investing.  At a recent conference he was asked to condense his career, built upon studying how people think, into the most essential piece of advice for financial advisers. His advice: “Don’t churn accounts and trade too much.” Kahneman is credited with […]

Warren Buffett on the importance of discipline

April 6, 2015 by  
Filed under Investing, Investor Behaviour

“I will not abandon a previous approach whose logic I understand even though it may mean forgoing large, and apparently easy, profits to embrace an approach I don’t fully understand, have not practiced successfully and which, possibly, could lead to substantial permanent loss of capital.”   —Warren E. Buffett, America’s most admired, least imitated investor

Chasing performance

April 1, 2015 by  
Filed under Investing, Investor Behaviour

In the early years of this century one Canadian fund company, Sprott Asset Management, had incredibly strong performance for several years in a row in its flagship fund and then topped the short and long-term mutual fund performance charts.  The company then was able to advertise this amazing performance, attracted many new investors, grew its assets […]

Ivy Foreign Equity manager comments – clear thinking if you ask me

Here is an excerpt from a recent written commentary provided by the managers of the Ivy Foreign Equity Fund.  I found it very insightful and worth sharing. Investing can often be unnerving. When markets are expensive there is fear that the bubble will pop. Conversely, when markets are falling and thus leading to better valuations, the worry […]

While people need good advice, what they want is advice that sounds good

I came across a truly exceptional article today and thought it was well worth sharing some of the most important points made by the author and a few comments of my own. 1. “That’s because good advice rarely changes, while markets change constantly. The temptation to pander is almost irresistible. And while people need good […]

More about investment market “corrections”

October 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Investing, Investment markets, Investor Behaviour

To make it clear how integral market corrections/fluctuations/downturns/whatchamacallits are to the process of earning the superior long term returns that accrue to the owners of the great businesses of the world, consider the statistics below that are frequently quoted in the media and which I read once more this month in a circular from Fidelity […]

What is a “market correction”?

October 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Investing, Investment markets, Investor Behaviour

Unlike some projections of future values, investment markets do not proceed forward in a straight line, but rather feature fluctuations on every time scale.  Fluctuations are due to the constant reassessment of investors about the future value of each investment based on the constant flow of new information.  These fluctuations are a normal and healthy […]

Frustrating the majority

September 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Investor Behaviour

“Money managers are unhappy because 70% of them are lagging the S&P 500 and see the end of another quarter approaching. Economists are unhappy because they do not know what to believe: this month’s forecast of a strong economy or last month’s forecast of a weak economy. Technicians are unhappy because the market refuses to […]

The advantages of consistency and temperament

August 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Investor Behaviour

Regarding the source of the value of financial advice “It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.”          —Charles Munger, speaking of himself and Warren Buffett   On the primacy of behavior “Temperament is more important than […]

Unpopular investing

The investment philosophy expressed by Sir John Templeton is at once simple but very difficult to follow.  The mutual fund managers I recommend and that manage money for you mostly follow a discipline similar to Sir John’s.  Notice how much he emphasizes the importance of using your reasoning and independent judgement as opposed to following […]

Investing is not like most activities in normal life

August 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Investing, Investor Behaviour

Part of the reason the average investor fares so poorly when trying to do it alone is the challenge of controlling emotions and applying a rational and consistent investment philosophy – an objective discipline that leads to correct decisions most of the time.  Since there are so many investors who do not apply such a […]

Investing globally

August 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Investing, Investor Behaviour

In our office we often speak of the value of diversification and why it does not make sense to radically over-concentrate on what is close and familiar.  Sir John Templeton was a pioneer in global investing, having started the Templeton Growth Fund in 1954.  When we construct portfolios for your long term goals you will […]

Breaking the Cycle of Investment Regret

May 26, 2014 by  
Filed under Investing, Investor Behaviour

Franklin Templeton Investments has produced a booklet to help investors harness emotions to make better investment decisions. The issue is that although equity investment returns become stable once you stand back far enough and can see the very long term, within months, years or even multi-year time frames, returns are very variable, leading investors to […]

Ivy Quarterly Review

Occasionally an investment manager writes so well and with such insight that I want to share it with clients.  This is the case with the current Mackenzie Ivy Quarterly Review, in which the Ivy managers discuss their broad views about the current state of the world economy and investment markets.  Among other things, they discuss […]

Home country bias explained

December 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Investing, Investor Behaviour

Home country bias occurs when you make investment decisions based on what is familiar and close to you rather than on an objective and complete understanding of opportunities.  Canadians are extremely prone to this tendency because Canadian investment opportunities (though some may be excellent) make up only about 4% of the world market.  Thus, an […]

Income mobility in Canada

As a person who believes in the greatness of human abilities and is deeply aware of economics, production and wealth creation, I am often frustrated by social problems that I believe can easily be solved through economic freedom but which are prevented by the entrenched collectivism that has come to permeate much of our society. […]

Self-destructive investor behavior continues

September 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Investing, Investment markets, Investor Behaviour

Emotions can wreak havoc on an investor’s ability to build long-term wealth. This phenomenon is well illustrated each year when the research company Dalbar Inc. releases its study of investor behavior.  While this is a study of American market data, I have seen similar results for Canada and as always, people are people whether they live […]

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