Sep 4, 2015

Labor Day Weekend Reading

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After reading quite a few articles making bad arguments against “risk parity” strategies, I wanted to write a post that elucidated my understanding of the thought process behind risk parity, while also pointing out the flaws in the arguments of some critics. I started writing something but it never came together quite the way I wanted. So instead of inflicting more muddled thinking on the world, I put it on the shelf.

Luckily Matthew C Klein at the Financial Times has written such an article and done a better job than I could ever have. This is the article I wish I had written:

http://ftalphaville.ft.com/2015/08/25/2138210/myths-and-facts-about-risk-parity/

Referenced in the above is another masterful example of financial journalism; Warren Buffett’s article in fortune magazine from 1977, How Inflation Swindles the Equity Investor.

Aside from its insights into asset pricing, Mr. Buffett’s article is interesting simply because it harkens back to a time when the problem was too much inflation, not too little. Also, given the excitement regarding the Federal Reserve Board’s impending decision on interest rates, it was striking how the article, without really even trying, seems to outline all the reasons a government, (especially an indebted one), would prefer some small inflation all else being equal.

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Jul 30, 2015

What’s Conservative Got To Do With It?

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Below is a section from the most recent WhiteTree quarterly client letter. Excerpt:   What’s Conservative Got To Do With It? Echoing the famous poll in which 80 percent of people rated themselves above average drivers, most investors consider themselves more conservative than their peers. Unfortunately the term “conservative” has little descriptive power in context […]

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Jul 21, 2015

Carl Ichan – Telling (his) Truth to Power

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You don’t often get to see titans of industry wriggle in their chairs like this. Carl Icahn has a gift for both investing and making people in high places squirm.

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Jul 10, 2015

On the Necessity of Naming

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From Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder: We know more than we think we do, a lot more than we can articulate. If our formal systems of thought denigrate the natural, and in fact we don’t have a name for antifragility, and fight the concept whenever we use our brains, it does not mean that […]

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Jun 22, 2015

Down The Bond Market Liquidity ETF Rabbit Hole – A Link-Fest

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*Many of the articles linked to are from The Financial Times Alphaville column. You do not need to subscribe to the Financial Times to read them but you do need to be registered for a free account with the FT for access.  Regular consumers of financial media will be aware; there has been much gnashing of the teeth over bond market liquidity […]

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Apr 23, 2015

Bring Up The Bodies – Spinning the Flash Crash

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Regulators don’t like being embarrassed and the Flash Crash was an embarrassing episode for the people who are in charge of supervising financial markets. From a regulatory perspective, the problem with financial markets is that they are by their very nature distributed amongst many participants, and therefore it is very difficult to assign blame when something goes […]

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Apr 5, 2015

Howard Marks – Links

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Howard Marks is one of my favorite investment luminaries. I’ve read his book, “The Most Important Thing” twice and listened to the audio-book version more than once as well. Below you’ll find links to his talk at Google and his most recent memo on liquidity. The memo on liquidity is especially interesting because it is […]

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Jan 8, 2015

Energy Recovery – $ERII – Insider Buying and The Fear of Missing Out

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Energy Recovery Energy Recovery (ERII) was incorporated 1992 and went public in 2008. The company produces energy saving solutions for desalination plants. Over the past few years, it has been developing a number of products to address the needs of other fluid intensive industrial processes, mainly related to the oil and gas industry. Legacy Business […]

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Dec 29, 2014

Elliot Management – Paul Singer Interview

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Also from the NYT Deal-book Conference, an interview with Elliot Managements founder Paul Singer. I think there is a lot of truth to what he says about governments implicitly or explicitly allowing central bankers to do the heavy lifting in terms of economic policy.

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Dec 26, 2014

Holiday Readings

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Some holiday reading links and video materials: Ray Dalio at the NYT deal book conference: Aswath Damodran writes a good note on the Oil price drop and its implications <LINK> Tim Ferris Podcast with Dr. Peter Attia <LINK> More interesting Dr. Peter Attia Articles: Is Sugar Toxic <LINK>  Success Versus Failure – (His thoughts on […]

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