January 2017

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If I Could Give You Just One Piece of Advice

If I could give you just one piece of advice, it would be this: Don’t read the comments section. Many news organizations still have comments sections.  Comments sections provide a nourishing habitat for trolls, toxic creatures whose egos are fed with belligerent virtue signalling.  It’s basically Mos Eisley: you’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.  The easy fix: don’t read the comments.  I don’t have comments on this website to avoid headaches with trolls and spammers. The problem: Facebook and Twitter are basically free-form comments sections.  I love news, sports, and investing, but each has their own particular breed of troll.  Are you a [political party affiliation]?  A college student would love to tell you all about how the world REALLY works (stay woke!).  Love the Indians?  There’s a 14 year old in Toronto who wants to tell you how much your favorite player sucks.  Finance…


Trump Portfolio

We’ve witnessed the peaceful exchange of power in the most powerful country on the planet.  Now, how do we create a “Trump Portfolio” of only the best, really the greatest, everybody says so securities?  Does it make sense to overweight small cap manufacturing stocks that might benefit from a strong dollar or perhaps bank stocks to take advantage of rising rates? Here’s a better question: What’s more important, the person in the White House or the person who owns the portfolio?  It doesn’t make sense to put Grandma in volatile small cap stocks if what she really needs is income.  Likewise, it wouldn’t be prudent for a 20-something to move everything to cash because they don’t agree with the President’s politics.  I hope you already knew this, but there is no optimal “Trump Portfolio”.  Rather than rebuilding their portfolio every time the winds change in Washington, D.C., investors should build around their personal needs…


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How Bout That Market: 1-16-2017

How ‘Bout That Market?  This is a question I hear at social gatherings often enough that it makes sense to make it a regular entry on this website. The Market   My quarterly commentary for Fairway Wealth Management is posted here.  As we approach inauguration day, it’s prudent to maintain perspective in the face of media noise.  It may be a good time to audit your news streams and trim the dead weight.  I love Twitter and Feedly as they make managing the noise easy.  The key is to cut bad sources without regret.  If the rest of your follows are solid, they will help you fill in the gaps that you may miss by posting things they think are relevant. I cannot stress enough that investing never requires minute by minute updates.  The same goes for the news.  It is human nature to want access to news before other…


ASS

Don’t Invest Like an ASS

ProTip:  Don’t invest like an ASS.  That is, don’t give in to the temptations of investments that are Aspirational, Signalling, or Sexy.  I didn’t plan it this way, but like all great concepts, the acronym is there.  It sounds silly, but these can be serious portfolio killers. Aspirational Investments Aspirational marketing has been around for as long as there has been stuff to sell.  The product is promoted as something used by the person you want to be in the setting you wish you were at.  A great way to sell bad beer is to show bros with washboard abs drinking on a beach with girls in bikinis.  This is an obvious aspirational marketing gimmick.  You’re entirely too smart to fall for that, right? There is a sneakier technique almost imperceptible to adults.  Watch commercials aimed at children.  You’ll notice that the children in the ads are usually slightly older…


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Doc Brown, Plans, Getting Punched in the Mouth

No ‘How Bout That Market’ post this week because everybody was on vacation last week.  The most interesting thing that happened was something that didn’t happen – the Dow didn’t hit 20,000.  Here are a bunch of random thoughts to start the year off: Back to the Future I keep coming back to the movie Back to the Future.  The Cubs won the World Series (Back to the Future II was only off by a couple of years).  Japan is the largest foreign holder of US government debt, reminding me of when it was all but carved in stone that Japan would rule the world.  There was even a gag in the third movie where 1955 Doc Brown and 1985 Marty discuss Japanese quality.  What really pulls me back to this series, though, is Doc Brown’s demand of Marty to prove he’s from the future: “Tell me, future boy, who’s President of the…