After so many years of investing, interacting with people, and writing about stocks, mutual funds, index funds, and portfolio management, I have five theories that help explain investor behavior.
Investing is the process of putting aside money today in exchange for more money in the future. This process involves risk but, when well managed, can help grow your wealth over time due to the power of compounding. This is the investing archive that includes articles published on JoshuaKennon.com. If you are looking for more great content, visit Joshua’s Investing for Beginners site at About.com, a division of The New York Times.
Back in 2011, I did a 20-year case study of Colgate-Palmolive. Global events have conspired in such a way that it can now serve as a perfect illustration of a valuation conundrum: While not cheap, Colgate-Palmolive is significantly cheaper for a long-term owner than the price-to-earnings ratio alone would have you believe. In fact, despite having what appears to be a 26.54 p/e ratio, it’s slightly undervalued to its private market value could you get your hands on the entire empire. It’s a rare thing to be able to talk about a gem like this under conditions such as these so I’m not going to let the opportunity pass. Dust off your powdered wigs, take out your walking cane, and travel back with me to post-Revolutionary America.
Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises: Supreme Court Clarifies Intellectual Property Contracts in Spider Man Dispute
If you weren’t careful in drafting that patent royalty or licensing agreement, the Supreme Court just confirmed the intrinsic value of your cash flow stream is a lot smaller than you thought following its refusal to overturn an older decision from the 1960s.
On August 9th, 1995, the company behind Internet browser Netscape went public, skyrocketing as people fought to get a piece of the so-called “new economy”. It set off a buying panic among the public that lasted five years; otherwise rational men and women convinced that this time really was different, the mania feeding on itself. Anything and…
Surveying the most recent ten year period, the increase in Berkshire Hathaway’s economic engine has been breathtaking. The Great Recession of 2008-2009 gave it the opportunity to lay out billions upon billions of dollars in cash it had been storing for years prior at terms that were unlike any deals we’ve seen in decades. Convertible preferred stocks, warrants, private buyouts … the firm got its on hands highly lucrative securities, many of which were privately negotiated and offered return enhancers not available to average investors …
Now that the dividend has been paid on the Swiss shares (April 22nd), the stockholder meeting concluded (April 16th), and Citibank is working with the Swiss Tax Authorities to distribute all of those beautiful Swiss Francs shipped over from Vevey to the United States for holders of the ADR to receive their U.S. dollar equivalent payouts later this month on May 29th when the process has completed (can you believe it’s already been a year since the last time we had this conversation?), I wanted to write about Nestlé.
I would argue, strongly, that an abundance of evidence shows the typical investors grossly misunderstand the mathematics of diversification and the role it can play in a well-constructed portfolio. Allow me to walk you through some examples that might provide further insight to how you should be thinking about the concept.
Over the past couple of decades, quiet, subtle, barely-noticed changes in the methodology of the S&P 500 have resulted in the index barely resembling the one that produced the historical returns investors now seem to implicitly assume they will earn in the future.
March 3rd, 2015, is the 10th anniversary of National Pancake Day. If you head to an IHOP, you can get free pancakes. They ask, but you are not required, to make a donation to charity in lieu of paying for your meal, with the goal being to raise $3,500,000 this year for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
You might want to consider bringing your own maple syrup, though. As you know, one of the few things in life that irritates me to no end is the (what I consider) stupidity of the pancake industry, which has now, in 2015, nearly completely replaced every single store brand maple syrup with “pancake” syrup instead, which is really dyed corn syrup.
It is absolutely nuts to me to see this clip of Warren Buffett that was discovered. In it, he was just shy of 32 years old, roughly the same age I am now. He was completely unknown outside a tiny circle of people, though rich, wasn’t one of the richest men in the country (let alone…