The Normal

Stocks Are Risky – This is Not the New Normal, It is The Normal The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has dropped hundreds of points and has recently created alarming news headlines. This has not made any investor that I know feel good, but was this “The Normal?” Yes, this is a reference to “The … More The Normal

The Good Story

“Honey, I need to go.” When I woke up my wife to tell her this, it was still dark outside on Sunday, September 14th 2008. I had finally gotten at least a little sleep, after many calls and emails on Saturday had given me at least a little hope that my firm, Lehman Brothers, might … More The Good Story

Pavlov’s Brokers

Recently, I noticed a Tweet from Josh Brown (like me, a Reformed Broker) and a follow-on note from Dan Egan, who I had the pleasure of working with in the past at a brokerage firm (maybe he should be called the Reformed Behaviorist). Both focused on how incentives and stimuli can influence investor behavior. It … More Pavlov’s Brokers

Don’t Let Your Portfolio Get Sacked – Version LII

Are you ready for the big game? The poised Boston champion Pats vs. City of Brotherly Love, Rocky-like underdog Eagles. Beyond the entertainment of the Super Bowl, the NFL runs a business that generates exceptional returns. If marketing is your game, you could do a lot worse than to follow the lead of the NFL. … More Don’t Let Your Portfolio Get Sacked – Version LII

Why I Don’t Make Forecasts

“A spectacular zero” and advice from Janet Yellen At the end of this post, I’ll explain the picture above and the advice Janet Yellen gave me.  To start, though, most people know that I run an investment advisory firm and that, in the past, I held senior positions inside large Wall Street firms, giving advice … More Why I Don’t Make Forecasts

Strong Consumer Watchdog or Rogue Federal Agency?

“Rogue Federal Agency” or “Watchdog Too Good At Its Job”? Above are two headlines from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times that give two sides of a growing debate about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (please see the links at the bottom of the this post and click through). Having spent most … More Strong Consumer Watchdog or Rogue Federal Agency?

April Fool’s Day Forecasts?

Are Wall Street, and even Federal Reserve, forecasts often about as accurate as April Fool’s Day jokes? Unfortunately, yes, sometimes the might make you smile. This week I was fortunate enough to attend a private reception and then a lunch with Janet Yellen at the Economic Club of New York.  The experience and debate of … More April Fool’s Day Forecasts?

Boston’s MBTA Use of Wall Street Derivatives “Reckless”

When will investors learn?  Complex investment bets often don’t end well. To highlight this point, a new study by the Pioneer Institute states that the Boston based MBTA transit system’s use of financial derivatives was “reckless.” Yes, a strong word, but unfortunately it might be well deserved. According to the report, “Despite warnings by the state auditor … More Boston’s MBTA Use of Wall Street Derivatives “Reckless”

“Lehman Sisters” – Would Banks Be Better If More Were Run By Women?

Would Lehman Brothers have been better off if it had been “Lehman Sisters”? A Wall Street Journal article titled, “Banks Run by Women Might Be Less Vulnerable in a Crisis,” mentions a similar quip made in 2008 by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund: “If Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters, today’s … More “Lehman Sisters” – Would Banks Be Better If More Were Run By Women?

Don’t Let Your Portfolio Get Sacked

Are you ready for the big game? Super Bowl 50. The seasoned star, Peyton Manning, in what could be his final game, versus the new star, Cam Newton. The only improvement from my New England perspective would be watching our Patriots this Sunday, but I am sure I will enjoy the excitment on the field … More Don’t Let Your Portfolio Get Sacked