Investing Strategy Archives

The emotions of market timing

Today, stock prices are fairly high while growth is widely expected to be slow. Should equity owners sell? I did, prior to the crash of 2008, and I now regret my decision every time the market hits a new high. I’m also afraid to get back in. It’s difficult to time the market, even if behavioral finance teaches us that the price is not always right.– Laurence B. Siegel, The Inventor of Behavioral Finance Looks Back (A book review of Richard Thaler’s Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics).

Genius at Work

Warren Buffett’s annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letter provides insight into investment strategy worthy of consideration by all investors. This year’s letter, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Berkshire Hathaway under Mr. Buffett’s management, is no different. The following six insights may prove especially valuable to the individual/independent investor.

1. Stocks offer better long-term inflation protection than interest-bearing securities.

Chasing Performance : Don’t Trip on International Stock Funds

Over the past five years, US stocks have trounced foreign stock performance. In case you are now considering a reduction in your foreign stock holdings, let’s take a moment to examine performance-chasing and the benefits of global diversification.

Sensible investors pursue diversification as a policy to reduce risk, not as a tactic to chase performance. By following a disciplined policy of maintaining a well-diversified set of portfolio exposures, regardless of market zigs and zags, investors establish conditions for long-run success. In fact, when taking market conditions into account, investors increase the odds of success by diversifying into asset classes after they suffer poor performance. In any case, foreign equities provide an important tool for reducing portfolio risk without sacrificing expected returns. – David Swensen, Unconventional Success: A Fundamental Approach to Personal Investment

Venezuela Oil

After crossing into Venezuela from the Colombian border town of Cúcuta on our recent vacation, we proceeded to a lodge an hour away. The stream of evening car headlights coming toward us on the two-lane road numbered in the hundreds. Why so many on a Saturday night?

I soon discovered that much of the traffic consisted of gas smugglers. The subsidized price of gas in Venezuela works out to 4.3 cents per gallon at the official exchange rate, the lowest in the world.

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