Warren Buffett

3 Strategies for Managing Higher Volatility

“Everyone has the brain power to make money in stocks. Not everyone has the stomach,” once observed legendary fund manager Peter Lynch. His point was that most people don’t have the stomach – or emotional stamina – for sticking to an investment plan when market conditions get choppy. What makes 2018 remarkably different from the …

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Why Contrarian Investing Still Works

Being a contrarian investor is a lot harder than it sounds. It means doing the opposite of the crowd. It means having the stomach and stamina to buy assets or investments that are unloved, misunderstood, and trading at bargain prices. Highly respected investors who made their fortunes by being contrarians include David Dreman, Sir John …

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Risk and Volatility: Know the Difference

On financial networks and in finance classrooms around the globe, stock market volatility is routinely mis-classified as “risk.”  Unfortunately, this erroneous view causes people to make investment mistakes. Elroy Dimson, a London Business School professor once wrote, that risk “means more things can happen than will happen.” It’s an eloquent way for describing risk, which …

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Are You Still Investing Without a Margin of Safety?

In retrospect, Brexit turned out to be more meaningful than Grexit. And while the immediate reaction of global financial markets (NYSEARCA:VT) to the England’s decisive vote to leave the European Union (EU) was negative, it’s a stark reminder of why investing without a margin of safety is negligent. With the exception of precious metals (NYSEARCA:GLTR), mining …

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4 Signs Your Portfolio Isn’t Ready for a Bear Market

In case you didn’t get the memo, global stocks are now in correction mode. And the velocity of the rout has been shocking to seasoned financial pros not to mention the investing masses. For perspective, the three largest U.S. stock benchmarks – the Dow Industrials (NYSEARCA:DIA), Nasdaq-100 (Nasdaq:QQQ), and S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:VOO) are up between …

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Here’s Why a Total Market Approach is Better vs. the S&P 500

Last year, Warren Buffett said he would direct the trustees of his estate to put 90% of his remaining assets in an S&P 500 index fund and 10% in short-term government bonds.  Is there a better approach for individual investors to follow? Although popular benchmarks like the S&P 500 get most of the headlines, broader funds like …

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Binocular Man Searching

Long-Term Investing: A Cautionary True Life Tale

The financial services industry’s bias toward long-term investing as the magic formula to the problems that face the individual investor is wrong and misleading. For example, illustrating unrealistic long-term time horizons of 100 or 200 years of equity returns (NYSEARCA:VTI) to prove that we should all be long-term investors is a common practice among both academicians and …

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The Crowd Votes for Stocks over Cash

What do investors love and what do they hate? Where are they putting their money? Analyzing the money inflow/outflow data for ETFs gives us some clues. In a study of U.S. ETF flows just published by the SPDR ETFs, David B. Mazza, the Head of Research observed: “Equities drove a disproportionate share of September’s inflows with …

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Warren Buffett is Once Again Doing the Opposite of the Crowd

The disdain for cash is nearly universal. Cash instruments like money market funds are yielding around 0%. And nobody needs or wants cash because stocks are up. The S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:IVV) just rallied 3.8% in August, almost one-third its year-to-date (YTD) gain of 9.73%. AUDIO:  Listen to Ron DeLegge @ The Index Investing Show Performing …

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Portfolio diversification

Should You Be 100% Invested in Stocks?

Investors should have 100% of their money invested in stocks! That’s what Laurence Fink, the chief executive officer at BlackRock declared in 2012. Since then, the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:IVV) has broken above record levels and is now 43% higher compared to a -1.4% loss for the total U.S. bond market (NYSEARCA:BND). While Fink’s advice looks smart …

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Fearful Lady

Building Your Investment Portfolio Shouldn’t Be Scary

How frightened to invest are people? So frightened, they’d rather die! A poll taken by Harris Interactive for Nationwide Financial found that 62% of surveyed respondents are afraid of investing in the stock market while just 58% are afraid of dying. Building your own investment portfolio from scratch is a fearful task for many people, …

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Financial Geek

Stock Prices Are Cheap! Valuation Geeks Get it Wrong Again

“Stocks are cheap by historical standards” is the latest fiction being promoted by valuation geeks. Is it true? Meb Faber, proprietor of the Cambria Global Value ETF (NYSEARCA:GVAL), and a valuation guru tweeted the 5-year CAPE ratio for the usually frothy technology sector (NYSEARCA:XLK) is just 22 today compared to an elevated 96 at the height …

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A Portfolio Strategy Warren Buffett Would Approve

What are the attributes of a world-class investment portfolio that even Warren Buffett would bless? Buffett’s 2013 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders gives us a clue: “The ‘know-nothing’ investor who both diversifies and keeps his costs minimal is virtually certain to get satisfactory results. Indeed, the unsophisticated investor who is realistic about his shortcomings is …

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