Evolution
Investing

Evolution

As a child, I was never particularly athletic.

Choosing between a book and a ball game, I’d always go for the former. 

Suffice it to say that my popularity as a kid fully reflected my choices. But then, it all changed. […]

Lucky or Smart
Investing

Better Lucky Than Smart

To kick off today’s post, let me tell you a little story. The story is about a good friend of mine from the MBA days. To preserve confidentiality, we can call him Mike. Today, however, I will call him the Frustrated Consultant. With that […]

Infinite returns
Real Estate

Infinite Returns

The other day, I had a call from my relationship banker across the pond. Now, I have no idea why I have a relationship banker. I’m far, far away from meeting the definition of an ultra-high-net-worth individual, for whom such niceties are usually reserved. […]

Offset low market returns
Investing

Four Strategies To Offset Low Market Returns

A lot has been said about the tremendous run-up in the stock market since the global financial crisis. Historically, the S&P 500 returned about 10% a year (nominal, with dividends included). Over the past decade, however, the returns are well into double digits: So […]

Stock market questions
Stock Market

How High Will The Stock Market Go?

On August 5th, 2011, representatives of the S&P rating agency announced their decision to downgrade their credit rating of the US Federal Government. To be fair, the S&P had clearly flagged their thinking earlier on, announcing a negative outlook back in April of the […]

2021 money moves
Investing

My Top Money Moves For 2021

And so, as it usually does every year, the Christmas fiesta has come to an end. If anything, the unexpected lockdown here in London was a blessing in disguise. Yes, not being able to see friends and family was a bummer. On the flip […]

Portfolio review
Investing

The Banker On FIRE Portfolio

One of the fundamental truths of being a personal finance blogger is that it invariably involves telling readers what you think. The internet, however, is a funny, opaque place. Things are not always what they seem. And for all you know, I could be […]

Most important investment
Careers

Your Most Important Investment

Bonds or equities? US or international? Large cap or small cap? What about value? Gold, commodities, crypto, individual stocks, sectors and subsectors, investing styles – the personal finance community is bursting at the seams with discussions on where to put your money. And yet, […]

Risk has big eyes...
Financial Independence

You Can’t Run Away From Risk

The other day, I got a frantic call from the commercial tenant at one of our rental properties. There was a pretty significant leak coming in from above which caused a mini-flood in the restaurant below. Luckily, the place was closed to customers at […]

Money Superpower
Financial Independence

What Is Your Money Superpower?

The absence of role models has long been one of the biggest obstacles to building wealth. After all, the easiest way to become successful is to find someone who is already successful – and replicate what they have done. However, money isn’t like fitness […]

Investing lessons
Investing

Five Investing Lessons From 2020

It may not seem like it, but as of today, we are just four weeks away from Christmas. One of the most eventful years of the past few decades is beginning the countdown toward its logical conclusion. It’s fair to say that 2020 has […]

A Million Is Not Enough
Financial Independence

When A Million Is Not Enough

On Saturday morning, I woke up to an email from a long-time reader of this blog. To preserve anonymity, let’s call him Carl. Carl sent me a link to this story from the Sunday Times and asked for my views. I was still in […]

Tale of two markets
Stock Market

A Tale Of Two Markets

Back in February, when a very prescient colleague of mine was busy liquidating his equity portfolio, a good friend of mine was going in the opposite direction. He and I had discussed investing in the past – and he had fully signed on to […]

Proceed with caution
Investing

Covid Vaccine? Don’t Get Too Excited

Yesterday’s news of the Pfizer Covid vaccine may well be the emotional highlight of 2020. It certainly put a big smile on my face, notwithstanding an otherwise challenging day at work. A triumph of good over evil. Of human ingenuity over a nasty, deadly […]

Destruction of value
Investing

Destruction of Value

About ten years ago, I attended an investment conference that brought together students and faculty from a number of MBA programs on the East Coast. Eugene Fama was one of the keynote speakers at the event. This was a few years before he won […]

Financial Independence

A Pre-Mortem On Your Life

One of the most enduring lessons I’ve taken away from my MBA degree is the concept of a “pre-mortem”. Applied in a managerial / finance context, the idea is quite simple. Let’s say you are about to kick off a big project. It can […]

No return
Investing

Irreversible

After seven and a half months of working from home, I have finally had enough. Driven by a desire to insert a bit more separation between work and life, I put on my mask, boarded the Jubilee line, and headed for the office. To […]

Your secret money weapon
Stock Market

How To Hack The Stock Market

Want to learn a guaranteed way to never, ever lose money in the stock market? Then today’s post is for you. Those who have read about the magic money machine will remember this graph: It’s a good representation of the random walk the stock […]

Stock Market

I Told You So

Back in late February (which now feels like a lifetime ago), a colleague and I were chatting about the stock market. The S&P had just gone down through the 3,000 mark. The said colleague, who happens to be a very thoughtful person, mentioned that […]

Guaranteed way to get rich
Financial Independence

A Guaranteed Way To Get Rich

Back in my teenage days, the only real way to get some quality information was to shlep over to the library. Yes, we did have internet back then (I’m not THAT old), but it was still nascent, slow, and frankly, there wasn’t much quality […]

Stock Market

A Magic Money Making Machine

If one were to distill the most contentious question in stock market investing, it would boil down to this: “What is a reasonable expectation for stock market returns going forward?” Your take on the question above impacts a multitude of things. First and foremost, […]

Investing

Back In Action

You may have noticed that as of last week, we are back to regularly scheduled, twice-weekly programming here at Banker On Fire. Two weeks in Spain flew by. It wasn’t a relaxing holiday by a stretch – a toddler, an infant, and a stream […]

Stock market fear
Stock Market

How Bad Can A Stock Market Downturn Get?

Not too long ago, one of my readers posed an interesting question in the comments section of this blog. Essentially, it boiled down to this: I am using the stock market for long-term wealth building and my goal would be to FIRE, hopefully, within […]