Fidelity’s Contrafund: One Manager’s Mission

Will Danoff, the manager of Fidelity’s $108 billion Contrafund– the biggest actively managed stock or bond mutual fund run by a single person—believes that “humans have fundamental investing advantages that no machine will ever replace,” writes Jason Zweig of The Wall Street Journal. Since taking over the fund in 1990, Danoff has averaged a 12.7% annual return (outperforming the S&P by nearly 3% per year). However, over the past five years, writes Zweig, Contrafund has… Read More

Zweig: Buy in a Market Bust like John Maynard Keynes

Anyone who has studied economics will be more than familiar with the name John Maynard Keynes. In last week’s Wall Street Journal, Jason Zweig reports that new research is offering information about how the investment success of this great economist “should teach all investors the importance of preparation, courage and patience.” Before his death in 1946, Keynes wrote several books that, according to Zweig, “revolutionized economic policy and helped devise the modern global monetary system.”… Read More

Change is Coming for Financial Advisers

It seems that artificial intelligence is useful for more than just Pokémon Go. According to Jason Zweig’s recent blog in The Wall Street Journal, financial advisers are increasingly using the technology to better serve the needs of their clients. While advisers can understand a client’s situation by gauging their mood and asking questions concerning goals, dreams and risk tolerance, a computer can amass and dissect huge amounts of data to predict behavior. For example, Zweig… Read More

Zweig on the Impact of Index Funds

Last month marked the fortieth birthday of the first index fund (launched by John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group) and the anniversary has triggered a lot of discussion and reflection on the trajectory this class of funds has traveled since. Jason Zweig of the Wall Street Journal shares some thoughts on the subject and how the phrase “too much of a good thing” could apply. Zweig reports that over the past year $409 billion… Read More

Sanity and Savings are Paramount for Today’s Investor

“Rates probably won’t rise until almost no one on earth is expecting them to. When that happens, it will hurt,” blogs Jason Zweig of The Wall Street Journal. Underscoring the strange financial climate where bonds are paying near nothing and stocks have risen to all-time highs, Zweig points out that we’ve been here before. Inflation-adjusted yields on Treasury bills, he says, have been negative 18 out of the 27 years between 1933 and 1959. In… Read More

Zweig: Avoid Higher Risk When Yields are Low

It seems that yield-starved investors are turning to high-risk investments in what Jason Zweig of The Wall Street Journal recently termed, “a reckless lunge.” Since June 30th, inflow to ETFs specializing in bonds from emerging-market countries has hit $1.2 billion. And, so far this month, investors have poured $2.8 billion into high-yield ETFs holding “junk” bonds (issued by below investment-grade companies). In his recent Intelligent Investor blog, Zweig references the findings of a new study… Read More

Zweig: Gold Is Not All That Glitters

In the summer of 2015, Jason Zweig wrote an article for The Wall Street Journal in which he claims that investing in gold (which was trading at around $1,130 an ounce) was a “leap in the dark.” In a WSJ blog earlier this month, he writes “Gold is up 20% since I ridiculed it; the U.S. stock market, measured by the S&P 500 with dividends reinvested, is up less than 1%.” But that’s not the… Read More

The Wall Street Journal’s Zweig Addresses Market Volatility

Investors often perceive the stock market as more volatile than it is, according to the latest newsletter from Matarin Capital Management (which oversees approximately $700 million in assets). In a Wall Street Journal blog post from earlier this year, Jason Zweig describes the stark contrast between the S&P 500’s daily movement within the previous 12-month period compared to its quarterly or annual shifts. In the newsletter, Stuart Kaye and his partners at Connecticut-based Matarin write,… Read More

Jason Zweig on Why Interest Rates Matter

When shopping for sale items, it’s customary to look at the price tag and see how much an item has been “marked-down”. You’d rather browse the “30% off” rack than the racks with lower discounts. Why? Because it affects the item’s value. On a much more sophisticated level, stock values and interest rates have a similar relationship. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Jason Zweig describes how interest rates are an important factor when… Read More

Time to Bottom Feed Across the Pond

The U.S. stock market is expensive and bond yields aren’t far from record lows. European and emerging market stocks, on the other hand, have approached stomach-turning status, says Jason Zweig of the Wall Street Journal. The European market has dropped by 12% while emerging markets have plummeted by 21.8%. Stabilized oil prices and a possible interest rate hike by the Fed has lifted investors’ outlook on these markets by a marginal 2% to 3%, but… Read More