Market Resilience from Investing “House Money”

The market’s resilience over the past year might be due to an investor perception that they are “playing with house money,” according to a Barron’s article. The article explains that this human tendency is rooted in behavioral finance research findings showing how the human brain suffers more from loss than it feels pleasure from the same amount of gain. Nicholas Colas, co-founder of firm DataTrek, says this runs counter to much of classical economic thought. In… Read More

How an Investment Strategy Can Be at the Top and Bottom at the Same Time

By Justin J. Carbonneau (@jjcarbonneau) —  Imagine you’re presented with two investment models. Both hold a concentrated basket of 10 stocks, both are rebalanced monthly and both are built on factor-based investing methods. One of the strategies, let’s call is Model A, is up 58.1% for the year compared to a gain of 20% for the broader market. Ok, that 38% outperformance is pretty impressive. What about the other strategy, Model B, you ask? Well,… Read More

Are We Partying Like its 1999?

By Jack M. Forehand (@practicalquant) —  One of the most common comparisons I hear for the current state of the stock market is the bubble of the late 90s. With the market seemingly setting new highs every day, valuations stretched, and technology stocks leading the way, there appear to be many similarities on the surface. When you look deeper, however, there are also some clear differences. Given that the 90s rally ended on a bad… Read More

In a High Market, Investors Should Prepare for a Downturn

A recent article by Jeff Sommer of The New York Times poses the question: “Is this the top of the market? Is it time to sell?” “Simply put,” writes Sommer, “my answer is this: If you’re a stock investor, be prepared for a major decline, not because one is necessarily coming soon but because no one can predict where the markets are heading.” The article points out that the current economic expansion is the third… Read More

Morgan Housel: Discomfort the Key to Investing Success

 A key component of becoming a successful investor, writes Morgan Housel of the Collaborative Fund, is the “ability to be comfortable being uncomfortable.” Investors, he says, “have a fascination with no-brainers, obvious decisions, and easy money. The phrases should be chapter titles in a book on the ease of deluding yourself.” He argues that finding well-performing investments requires above-average intelligence but also the willingness to “endure more discomfort and uncertainty than others.” Housel cites a comment… Read More

Zweig Talks Color and Investor Behavior

New research shows that color can have a significant influence on investor behavior, writes Jason Zweig in a recent Wall Street Journal article. According to Zweig, researchers have found that “seeing red has a drastic effect on how people view investments.” One part of the research, says Zweig, shows that when investors looked at charts of stocks in the S&P 500 index with falling prices and predicted how the shares would perform in the subsequent… Read More

Morgan Housel Explains the Lure of Pessimism

“Every past market crash looks like an opportunity, but every future market crash looks like a risk,” writes Morgan Housel in a recent blog for Collaborative Fund. Housel offers insights as to why investors tend to attach more to negative thoughts than to positive ones, why pessimism is more “seductive” than optimism. Pessimism, he writes, “can be hard to distinguish from critical thinking and is often taken more seriously than optimism, which can be hard… Read More

Study Shows Retirees Become More Pessimistic About the Market as They Age

A new study shows that as people age, they become more pessimistic about the stock market and the economy as a whole, and actually spend less “just as many can start enjoying their life’s savings,” according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. Study author Matt Fellowes, former chief executive of Morningstar subsidiary HelloWallet, says that as we age “our ability to reliably anticipate the future weakens,” and even people who have saved carefully end… Read More

Sentiment Measures Are Not Reliable Investment Cues

The topic of market sentiment and how it manifests in stock price shifts and investor behavior is addressed in this week’s Enterprising Investor. In today’s post-election market, the article points out that sentiment measures have increased. “A recent Investors Intelligence Sentiment Report registered 65% bulls—not an extreme reading, but above the roughly 45% average.” The author warns, however, that such measures alone are not reliable. “Investors should not base their decisions on psychology alone,” it… Read More

Steve Cohen’s Head Performance Coach Talks Portfolio Manager Mindset

As the PGA tour winds down and the Olympic Games approach, it seems only fitting to share some perspective on the investment world from a famous sports psychologist. Dr. Gio Valiente has worked with many of the top PGA Tour players to help them improve their mental game. A Yahoo Finance article from earlier this month describes what Valiente (who recently joined Steve Cohen’s $11 billion Point72 Asset Management as head performance coach) views as… Read More