Is Your Adviser a Fiduciary, Part II

The Washington Post has also jumped on this confusion.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/get-there/find-a-financial-adviser-who-will-put-your-interests-first/2014/10/23/21f3a898-596f-11e4-bd61-346aee66ba29_story.html

H/T: Mark Ukrainkyj on LinkedIn

&nbsp… Continue reading

Share
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Your Adviser a Fiduciary?

Answer: Probably not, if your adviser is a broker (AKA a “Financial Consultant” or “Financial Adviser” employed by a brokerage firm).

“Brokers, like those at the Toffels’ bank, are technically known as registered representatives. They are required only to recommend “suitable” investments based on an investor’s personal situation — their age, investment goals, time horizon and appetite for risk, among other things. “Suitable” may sound like… Continue reading

Share
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Truly Honored by Jason Zweig’s Selection of this Blog

I am truly honored to have been selected by Jason Zweig of the Wall Street Journal as one of a handful of investors that Jason thinks are “Smart People for Investors to Follow.” This Margin of Safety blog can be found on Jason’s list between Warren Buffett’s Letters and Memos from Howard Marks, so I have good reason to feel honored.

Readers of my blog know… Continue reading

Share
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

B. Malkiel Cannot Believe His Own Eyes

“Over the past 100 years the returns from smaller companies have exceeded those of larger companies. It is also true that stocks with low valuations (i.e. lower prices relative to earnings and book values) have generated better returns than those with high valuations. What is less certain is whether these tendencies will continue in the future…”

–Burton G… Continue reading

Share
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Contemporary Art Auctions Reach Records

Liquidity, both physical and financial, tends to take the path of least resistance.

If it is easy for corporations to borrow in public debt markets because high liquidity keeps interest rates low (in the near term), corporations that lack ideas for expansion at high ROI will issue debt and use the proceeds to buy back equity or go on M&A sprees. Those purchases raise the price of equities regardless of underlying fundamentals.… Continue reading

Share
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Continued Signs of Financial Market Excess”

From a report on CNBC.com (http://www.cnbc.com/id/102009066):

“There was one additional dissenter for the September statement. Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser voted against the position in July, and he was joined this month by Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher.

‘President Fisher believed that the continued strengthening of the real economy, improved outlook for labor utilization and for general price stability, and continued

Share
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

There was No “De-Leveraging”

Ray Dalio of Bridgewater is fond of calling our government bailout a “beautiful deleveraging” (http://www.bwater.com/Uploads/FileManager/research/deleveraging/an-in-depth-look-at-deleveragings–ray-dalio-bridgewater.pdf) probably because he bet correctly that the flood of liquidity would lift all boats in the short run. But, I have been arguing the point in the attached blogpost from BlackRock since the crisis began. The growth in total debt is a major long-term problem that few have sufficiently considered. It will be… Continue reading

Share
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bloomberg Article on the Myopia of Buying a Vacation Home

When viewing a vacation home as an investment, most fail to account for all of the costs associated with home ownership. Even after the investment is sold, people overestimate their return because they fail to track all of the costs.

In most cases, residential investments deliver net returns equal to the rate of inflation, at best, and that does not factor in the amount of time the homeowner spends… Continue reading

Share
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why the Singularity Makes Me a Rational Optimist

The main reason that I am a rational optimist in the long run, like Matt Ridley, is that technology is expanding exponentially; it is growing at a growing rate. Kurzweil in his book, The Singularity is Near, discusses how difficult it is for us to perceive the exponential growth. Compare it to standing on earth and looking out to the horizon; the ground looks flat near us, but it… Continue reading

Share
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

This is the Worst Recovery in the Post WWII Era

I think my former Wall Street colleagues know this without the need to read a chart. I added Sufi and Mian’s blog to the economics blogroll on the right after seeing the CFA Institute’s webcast of Sufi’s presentation at a conference at the University of Chicago. Sufi also projected a slide showing that GDP growth has fallen far off trend and is getting worse, not better. Normally, GDP catches up to… Continue reading

Share
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment