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

Being a Successful Investor Requires Planning and Tenacity

By John Reese — In a YouTube video from 2009, Succeeding author John Reed tells his audience that to achieve success, a person must say to themselves: “Here are my strengths and weaknesses and here are the alternative paths I can take to get to my goal. Which path best fits my strengths and weaknesses?” This notion applies to investing in a big way. While setting goals is a paramount first step in any investment… Read More

In the Hunt for Black Swans, Disciplined Investing Strategies are Best

By John Reese — Imagine a scenario in which you’re unsure about directions, so you ask a friend if you could follow him in your car. He happily agrees, then tells you to turn right a mile before he does. In some ways, talk about strategies to protect investors from “black swan” events–negative occurrences that lead to significant market declines—is similarly puzzling. The term, popularized in a 2007 best-selling book by scholar and risk analyst… Read More

Would You Fire this Guy?

By John Reese — If there’s one thing that’s hard to persuade investors to be, it’s patient. The urge to chase the hot idea or the manager with the dazzling recent track record is incredibly powerful. The resolve to resist crowd mentality can falter when it seems as if everyone else is winning and you’ve been left behind. Imagine hiring a manager in 1997 and for the three year period to 2000, he clocks a… Read More

It’s Time To Get Into The Rebalancing Act

By John P. Reese — If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it can be a useful mantra in many walks of life, but investors should be wary when applying this idea to asset allocations. Movements in the market can shift allocations and result in concentrations that might not necessarily fit your risk profile and/or investment goals. Suppose, for example, you create a portfolio comprised of 60% stocks and 40% bonds. If stocks see a period of… Read More

The Investor as a Storyteller

By John P. Reese — The celebrated author Mark Twain said, “It’s not what you don’t know that kills you, it’s what you know for sure that ain’t true.” Twain’s point is well taken, and a keen interpretation of the human condition. As a species, we are extremely accomplished at spinning tales and making meaning, whether based in logic or not, and formulating decisions based on those stories. A precarious tendency when it comes to… Read More