Congratulations to the H&D runners for completing the Key Bank Vermont City Marathon and looking as good after the race as before!
I’ll get to that in a minute. First an explanation of how this newsletter gets put together. We all read widely here, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, the internet, etc., and when we find interesting articles we clip them and add them to a big pile which accumulates by the inch and then by the foot. […]
The best definition of the stock market I know of is from Ray DeVoe, a market commentator with Spencer Trask in the 1970s and subsequently other firms, who said, “The stock market is only indirectly related to economics. It is a function of human fear, greed, and apprehension all overlaid on a business cycle.” We […]
Seth Klarman wrote in the introduction to his 1991 investment classic, Margin of Safety, “If interplanetary visitors landed on Earth and examined the workings of our financial markets and the behavior of financial-market participants, they would no doubt question the intelligence of the planet’s inhabitants.” Similar observations about investor irrationality have been made many times […]
As recently as 2007, China’s economy was growing at a 14.2% rate. India’s was expanding by 10.1%, Russia’s by 8.5% and Brazil’s by 6.1%. This year, developing economies as a group will be lucky to grow 5% according to a recently released World Bank report. The causes of this slowdown range from a tightening of […]
The International Comparison Program, a loose coalition of the world’s leading statistical agencies, recently reported that China will become the world’s largest economy this year based on purchasing power parity. PPP measures what money can actually buy. For instance, a hair cut in China is much less expensive than one in the U.S. When you […]
Hydraulic fracturing or fracking has turned the U.S. Energy outlook upside down. Since 2010 U.S. natural gas production has increased 25% and oil production, 60%. We have passed Russia as the world’s largest gas producer and within a couple of years we may pass Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer. Fracking elicits a […]
The ending of the title sentence here is . . . if you start saving when you’re young. Yes, the big secret to being able to retire comfortably is no secret at all, but the remarkably simple directive to start saving early. Get on a program of regularly socking away a percentage of your paycheck […]
The stock market is hitting new highs, real estate prices are recovering and consumer balance sheets are healthier than ever. But in the face of this happy news, a growing body of research is highlighting that much of America is not participating in the prosperity. French economist Thomas Piketty is the latest to weigh in […]
On May 25th three of our staff members will be running in the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon and Relay as “The H&D Runners.” Our runners are Jordan Boyle, Sven Eklof, and Anne Doremus, and we wish them luck!
Before the publication of Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, (Michael Lewis), high frequency trading (HFT) was not much understood by either the average investor or even, it is fair to say, the professional. Now everyone is scrambling to get up to speed (pun intended). HFT got its start after the government moved to encourage increased […]
For many people, the retirement world is a foreign place full of unfamiliar concepts and terminology. To help navigate the often complex range of retirement related decisions, financial planners have come up with a number of statistics. A review of some of these guidelines along with a few other related metrics follows. 80% How Much […]