Personal Wealth

Luck vs. Skill

On March 2nd, 1962, Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors in a 169 – 147 win over the New York Knicks. This set the NBA single-game scoring record which still stands today. The game was not televised, in fact, no video footage of the game has ever been located. The stadium was only half full, and no members of the New York press were present. Audio recordings do exist, but only of the fourth quarter.

Personal Wealth

What if investing right before a market crash isn’t that bad?

Imagine having $1,500,000 of cash. With a long time horizon, and no immediate needs, you decide to invest $500,000 in a globally diversified portfolio* consisting of 80% stocks, and 20% bonds. It is March 1, 2000. Within days, the dot com bubble bursts, followed by the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. By the end of September, 2002, your invested portfolio has dropped from $500,000 to $480,724.

Behavioural Finance

Compelling Employees to Make Bad Choices

I don’t want to rehash all the reasons for my view that investors should avoid actively managed funds, expensive, complex investment products and “alternative investments” like hedge funds and private equity. If you find these investments suitable, you have every right to buy them.

Personal Wealth

If you think you need an options strategy, a hedge fund, or an active fund manager, you probably just need to revisit your time horizon

I often hear the phrase protect your downside. It’s the sales pitch that a large part of the investment management industry thrives on, and it plays to the myopic loss aversion that most investors exhibit. Myopic loss aversion is the tendency of investors to evaluate their portfolios frequently with greater sensitivity to losses than gains, causing them to act as if their time horizon is much shorter than it actually is.

Jim Cramer converts to index investing

In an unexpected but welcome turn of events, Jim Cramer has announced that he will give up on claims that he is able to predict the future to produce market-beating returns, and move all of his money into low-cost index funds. After years of preaching individual stock selection as the smartest approach for every investor with enough time to do the research, Cramer has said that he became curious about the consistent inflows into index funds. Taking a brief pause from his Bloomberg terminal to pick up some peer-reviewed academic journals, he was quickly overwhelmed by the amount of evidence in favour of index investing.

Principal Protected Notes vs. a Balanced Portfolio

Principal Protected Notes are investment vehicles governed by complex contracts that are not regulated or reviewed by any securities commission. In most cases, the contract offers investors the opportunity to participate in a percentage of the price increase of an underlying group of assets (stocks, bonds, an index) over a set period of time while being guaranteed to receive their initial investment back at the maturity date. The pitch is that this is an opportunity for investors to participate in the potential upside of some assets, with none of the downside. This is a great story. It’s so good, in fact, that Tony Robbins advised his millions of readers around the world to take advantage of this type of investment vehicle.