Happy Hour: Serial Compounder

I’m posting this a day early because I’m getting a jumpstart on the holiday weekend. Yesterday, I watched a Talks at Goggle video (embedded below) on Tom Gayner. Value investors out there might recognize the name.

Gayner is the CIO of Markel Corp, an insurance company modeled after Berkshire Hathaway. In the video, Gayner talks about his story, how he evolved as a value investor, and what he looks for in a company. He offers up his four points on what he looks for: Continue Reading…

How a Fed Rate Hike Affects Stocks

The hints of a Fed rate hike have been fairly constant since before the year started. The earliest guesses wrongly put the hike in June. Some have said September. The reality is nobody knows. It’s that uncertainty that gets people worrying about how it will impact their portfolio.

The funny part about all this is people have complained about low rates for six years. Now people are worried about getting what they wanted. But at what cost? Continue Reading…

Happy Hour: Building Lifeboats

Between fear of losing and fear of missing out, you cover a big chunk of bad investing decisions.

Nobody likes to miss out on what seems like easy money (it never is easy). And they definitely hate to lose even more. Yet, following both lines of thought leaves you in a vicious cycle where you never get anywhere.

Avoiding or breaking that cycle should be your goal. I believe the best way to do it is through experience, knowledge, and better planning. Continue Reading…

Investing Comes With Baggage

Every investment has the potential to offer you something – better returns, diversification, less volatility, more security – but most investors overlook the baggage that tags along.

I’m not talking about the stuff you carry on a plane. These are pre-existing problems you don’t find out about until much later in the relationship.

Simply, there’s always a tradeoff that must be weighed with every investment decision.

Most investors focus on the potentially good outcome while overlooking the bad possibilities and problems. The pros are why you invest. The cons, warts and all, that cause mistakes and bad behavior are often overlooked or ignored. Continue Reading…

Happy Hour: History Lesson

I was reminded this week of the importance of history by one of the best financial writers today. Jason Zweig writes the Intelligent Investor column at the Wall Street Journal where he consistently weaves history lessons into common sense investing advice.

This week, he published two transcripts from speeches he gave back in 1999 and 2001. Both speeches show why there’s a need to learn history and how you should use it. Continue Reading…