People who beat the stock market
Investing

The People Who Beat The Stock Market

The biggest refrain you hear from people who think you can beat the stock market goes as follows:

“By definition, 50% of investors do better than the market and the other 50% do worse. Surely it cannot be so hard to be in the first group.” […]

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 […]

The End Of Passive Investing
Stock Market

The End Of Passive Investing

In what is becoming a recurring theme, a long-time reader (let’s call him Bob) sent me a link to an article about passive investing the other day – and asked for my views. The article itself was unremarkable, a thinly veiled shill for an […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Loving Active Investors
Investing

Falling In Love With Active Investing

In the personal finance community, you will struggle to find a set of people more vehemently disliked than active money managers. Yours truly certainly shares the sentiment. There are exceptions, of course. Star managers who haven’t (yet) fallen from grace. The rare species who […]

Smarter than the stock market
Investing

Who Is Smarter Than The Stock Market?

“Objects in the rear-view mirror may appear closer than they are”. Right now, the opposite is true. It feels like a lifetime ago – but it has only been 11 weeks since we were trying to find a way forward in the midst of […]

Investing

The Future Is Tech… Or Is It?

One possible explanation for the recent divergence in stock market performance vis-à-vis the broader economy is the performance of the tech sector. Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook now comprise ~22% of the S&P 500 index. It’s no wonder that the stock market held […]

Stock market returns demystified
Stock Market

Demystifying Stock Market Returns

The stock market is a complex beast. This is not entirely surprising. In a way, it might even be expected. After all, it’s a mechanism that allows retail investors like you and I take a tiny ownership stake in large multinational corporations like Microsoft […]

Oil Price
Investing

Doom, Gloom, And Negative Oil Prices

For anyone who is following the financial markets these days, Monday was an eye-opener. For the first time in history, the price of oil has gone into negative territory. At its nadir, a barrel of WTI (West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark for oil) […]

Stock Market

The Hidden Dangers Of Dividend Investing

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed the other day when I stumbled a tweet extolling the virtues of dividend investing – and the investing superpowers of dividend investors themselves. I won’t quote it verbatim, but it had all the requisite components, such as: […]

Hate the stock market
Stock Market

Five Reasons To Hate The Stock Market

The stock market expansion that followed the financial crisis became known as the most hated bull market ever. Despite the tremendous growth and wealth creation, the share of retail investors in the stock market has actually declined from ~65% before the financial crisis to […]

What happens next?
Stock Market

What Happens Next

It’s official. We’ve gone from what seemed like a nasty, yet temporary wobble in the markets to a full-blown crisis. The true scale of the damage to the world economy is unknown so far, but it’s clear the situation is more complex than it […]

Always be learning
Personal Development

Learning From The Best

When it comes to financial self-education, you can hardly do worse than spend one hour a year reading Warren Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire’s shareholders. Informative, entertaining and thought-provoking, Buffett’s letters are a far better source of information and advice than 99% of the […]