Stock Market Lessons Learned in 2017

By John Reese (@guruinvestor) — Over the past twelve months, we’ve seen the bull market continue to trudge ahead with highs in many U.S. indexes and growth in various sectors and industries. With the news of major tax reform comes optimism for continued corporate earnings strength. That said, however, there are also growing concerns regarding an overvalued market and a potential correction. Let’s review what we’ve learned over the past twelve months: Bull markets don’t… Read More

Luck or Skill? Focus on the Process, not Performance.

By John Reese (@guruinvestor) —  Is it better to be lucky or smart? When it comes to investing, I think we can all agree that success arises from a combination of the two, but to what degree has been the subject of much debate. Those who are well-studied in behavioral finance would tell you that investing is rife with the illusion of skill—an investor’s inflated, misplaced confidence in their own abilities to choose winning stocks.… Read More

Focus on Fundamentals Rather than “Expert” Forecasts

By John Reese (@guruinvestor) —  American philosopher and educator Nicholas Murray Butler once said, ” An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.” His words, both wise and timeless, could apply to “expert” market forecasters. Butler (1862-1947) was president of both Columbia University and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, as well as a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize–distinctions which would make… Read More

Systematic Selling Helps Keep Emotions In Check

By John Reese (@guruinvestor) —  Deciding what stocks to buy and when to buy them is a question that can plague investors. But deciding if and when to sell can be equally if not more daunting. After all, you don’t want to leave money on the table by getting out too soon. On the other hand, if you wait in the hopes that there’s more upside, you run the risk of quite literally leaving money… Read More

The Active Versus Passive Debate is Not Binary

By John Reese (@guruinvestor) —  There is an undercurrent running throughout the investment community suggesting that active stock-picking is the root of many investor ills, and one that has robbed them of returns. I would argue, however, that the debate is more gray than black and white. Passive investing, an approach in which investors buy a broad cross-section of the market and weight holdings based on market capitalization, is a rules-based, disciplined strategy that strives… Read More

Where have all the Star Stock Pickers Gone?

By John Reese (@guruinvestor) —  The days of the star stock picker are largely gone, but aspects of their investment genius live on in other ways. In the mid to late 90s, the Fidelity Magellan fund was the largest mutual fund in existence. Run for years by the legendary Peter Lynch—during which time the fund’s return doubled that of the market– the fund went from $14 million in assets to $40 billion by the time… Read More

Tech Sector Heavy Hitters: The Only Market Constant is Change

By John Reese (@guruinvestor) —  There are precious few certainties when it comes to the stock market, but there’s one that should be written in permanent ink and glued to every screen: Nothing stays the same forever. Market capitalization, the value of a company’s outstanding shares, provides a snapshot of what the market is valuing most (in absolute terms) at any given time. The loud-and-clear message delivered by today’s market is that the tech sector… Read More

Just Another Stormy Monday? Lessons from Market Disruptions

By John Reese (@guruinvestor) — Thirty years ago, five days after 1987’s infamous Black Monday, Louis Rukeyser shared some calming and timeless words on his evening broadcast of Wall Street Week: “Okay, let’s start with what’s really important tonight. It’s just your money, not your life.” He goes on to list a number of life’s reassuring certainties (including warm puppies and singing robins) that would endure unfazed in the wake of the stock market’s 23… Read More

Four Thaler-Inspired Takeaways Investors Can Learn From

By John P. Reese — It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity… So begins the celebrated classic, A Tale of Two Cities–Charles Dickens’ novel set during the French Revolution–but this opening paragraph could just as easily lead into a stock market chronicle outlining the vagaries of… Read More

A “Flywheel” Approach to Investing

By John Reese — Teacher and leadership coach Jim Collins has authored and co-authored six books that delve into the inner workings of corporations and what makes them succeed or fail. One of the many concepts he features in his books, articles and lectures is that of the flywheel: “No matter how dramatic the end result, good-to-great transformations never happen in one fell swoop. In building a great company or social sector enterprise, there is… Read More