When Does Volatility Equal Risk?

When Does Volatility Equal Risk?

Conventional financial wisdom considers volatility to be one of the greatest risks in investing. A small minority of investors, mostly among value investors – a group to which I belong, take a completely opposite view and believe that it is the probability of permanent capital loss, not volatility that constitutes risk. Neither group is entirely correct, nor should the only two options be a view that considers volatility as the main investment risk or the one that views it as unimportant. Instead, the right question to ask is when does volatility equal risk?

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What Do the Best Investors Do That the Rest Don’t?

What Do the Best Investors Do That the Rest Don’t?

Charlie Munger, the Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett’s partner said something simple yet profound at the 2017 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting: “A lot of other people are trying to be brilliant and we are just trying to stay rational. And it’s a big advantage.” Some might think that becoming an excellent investor requires off-the-charts intelligence or some highly proprietary model that leads to an edge that nobody else can replicate. That is not what experience has shown.

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The Low Cost of Inaction: Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!

The Low Cost of Inaction: Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!

“We already see resurgent the age-old frailty of the investor – that his money burns a hole in his pocket.” Thus wrote Benjamin Graham in his seminal work on value investing, Security Analysis, written in 1934. Yet those words are just as relevant in today’s investment climate where many once again think that all they need to do to succeed in investing is to buy stocks of glamorous, high-growth companies. Valuation is once again perceived to be only of passing interest, a topic focused on by those unsophisticates that have not evolved to a higher level of understanding, one that allows the true investing gurus to pinpoint the future of rapidly growing companies 15+ years out.

If you have been paying any attention to the rising stock market in the last couple of years, you might be tempted to succumb to this siren-song and relax your investment criteria in order to join those appearing to make money quarter after quarter in high-expectation growth stocks. Don’t… at least not until you read this article.

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How to Lose Money in the Stock Market: The Top 5 Mistakes

How to Lose Money in the Stock Market: The Top 5 Mistakes

I have compiled the top 5 mistakes investors make in the stock market to teach you what not to do when investing. Charlie Munger, the Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett’s partner, has a favorite piece of advice, which is to always invert. What he means by that is that we should figure out what we don’t want to do and avoid it in order to get the result that we want. Let’s apply his advice by answering the following question: What is the most certain way to lose the most money investing in stocks?

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10 Insights from the Berkshire Hathaway Weekend

10 Insights from the Berkshire Hathaway Weekend

Listening to Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger and other smart investors over the course of the weekend surrounding the Berkshire Hathaway meeting in Omaha is always informative. Below I examine my 10 insights from this year’s trip, which are a combination of new ideas and helpful reminders about those from the past that are still important today.

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How Tax-Efficient Is Your Investing?

How Tax-Efficient Is Your Investing?

For a taxable investor, the pre-tax rate of return is not the whole story. The tax efficiency of how that pre-tax return was generated will have a large impact on the after-tax rate of return and the ultimate wealth of the investor. Long-term investing naturally results in very tax-efficient returns. The same pre-tax rate of return over 30 years achieved in the most tax efficient way could result in you having more than 2.5 times more than you would have had if your returns had been completely tax-inefficient. 

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How and Why to Be a Long-Term Investor

How and Why to Be a Long-Term Investor

Having a long-term time horizon can help you avoid making poor short-term investment decisions. A multi-year time horizon can also give you an advantage toward achieving superior returns by allowing you to make high-potential investments that others with a shorter timeframe would avoid. This article will elaborate on why being a long-term investor can help you achieve better returns, and illustrate how you can go about doing so.

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Why Passive Investing Is an Excellent Default Choice – an Active Investor’s View

Why Passive Investing Is an Excellent Default Choice – an Active Investor’s View

Passive investing – replicating the market’s returns through low-cost index funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) – has finally gained a meaningful share of the market. However there are still many investors who attempt to beat the market by investing with higher-fee active investment managers or directly in individual securities. These investors should fully consider the difficulty of achieving a superior result through active investing, and be aware of the behavioral biases that might be driving them down that path even when their circumstances might make passive investing a better alternative.

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Behavioral Defense in Decision Making

Behavioral Defense in Decision Making

Behavioral biases affect decisions more often than one might think. Behavioral defense involves making sure you are aware of any such biases affecting your thinking and correcting for them whenever possible. This article will focus on helping you make better decisions through the use of behavioral defense. 

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