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Investing Strategies

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Turning Investment on its Head by Robert Haugen

January 10, 2013

You have to take more risk to achieve a higher return. That’s one of the great investment myths, and it’s widely believed. We recently lost the man who almost singlehandedly fought to expose this as a myth through research. Robert Haugen passed away at age 70. Here’s a fine tribute that discusses his best contributions. […]

Does Technical Trading Work?

November 27, 2012

An interesting profile appeared over the holidays in both Bloomberg and The Washington Post of Tom DeMark. He’s a little-known head of a research firm that provides technical trading data to big investors, such as hedge fund SAC Capital. DeMark’s expertise is known as technical trading. Technical trading ignores fundamentals. Instead, trades are based on […]

A Margin of Safety Primer

May 2, 2012

I almost always recommend a reading of the quarterly shareholder letter from Martin Whitman of Third Avenue funds. The first quarter of 2012 is no exception. In fact, it’s a special letter because Whitman recently stepped down as manager of the Third Avenue Value fund. The latest letter is a primer on Whitman’s version of […]

Good Strategy or a Contrarian Signal?

April 2, 2012

Large corporate pension funds have more of their portfolios invested in bonds than in equities for the first time in over a decade, according to pension consulting firm Milliman. Like individual investors, the pension funds don’t like what they see in stocks. There’s a lot of volatility and downside risk, and the positive potential isn’t […]

Why Buy-and-Hold Investing Doesn’t Work

March 7, 2012

Andrew Lo is a bright economist at MIT who also is involved with several financial firms. A few years ago he coined the term adaptive markets to explain something we’ve been saying for years. Markets are composed of people, and people don’t react the same way to the same stimulus every time. They learn, or […]

10 Rules for Investing

February 28, 2012

Jeremy Grantham of GMO issued his quarterly letter for the fourth quarter of 2011, and as always I recommend investors spend some time with it. This letter is titled “The Longest Quarterly Letter Ever” (it’s 15 pages) and follows last quarter’s “The Shortest Quarterly Letter Ever.” This letter has three sections. The first is 10 […]

Understanding the Price-Earnings Ratio

February 9, 2012

I don’t use the P-E ratio much in evaluating the stock market. There are a lot of reasons for that. Earnings are, well, flexible. They’re subject to revisions and manipulation. I definitely don’t recommend using forward, or forecast, earnings, because they can be way off the mark. But the big reason is that earnings are […]

An Investment Strategy for All Markets

November 22, 2011

Most investment strategies aren’t based on long-term data or good theory. They work only at certain times. But those promoting the theories often don’t understand the limits and don’t convey the limits to the rest of investors. That’s why a good rule of thumb is that an investment strategy will stop working as soon as […]


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