A Dangerous "Diversification"?

Amen of the Week: Twelve years ago I attended a dinner meeting where Warren Buffett spoke to investors. He said something that still resonates with me today -- especially on days like we've seen this past week: “The way people have built fortunes has been by analyzing what businesses will look like in three to five years, not by forecasting short-term stock prices.” - Warren Buffett Do you really know what you own and why you own it? Chances are your adviser has your money “asset allocated” among a dozen or more ETF’s or mutual funds, through which you may own over 500 individual stocks collectively. Basically, you own the market. This “own-a-bit-of-everything” approach has worked well t

China: 2 images worth 2,000 words

With kids heading back to school this week, it’s a good time to reflect on what they’re learning about entrepreneurship. This week a Chinese-American entrepreneur penned an op-ed that really resonated... Amen of the Week: “You’d think that a profit-and-loss forecast would be a bedrock concept for a program teaching people to start their own businesses. You’d be wrong. I’ve mentored graduate students at prestigious universities who couldn’t tell me how they were going to cover things like payroll taxes, workers’ compensation and other basic costs... Too many U.S. business schools are focused on producing future leaders for big corporations and Wall Street firms—not equipping people to ventur

Sheep Following Lemmings

Amen of the Week: “We all have to fight to maintain our unique style and taste in a world that would have us conform.” - Ralph Lauren Fashion designer There are wise crowds. There are mad crowds. Which one is your money following? Many assume that buying an “efficient” mix of index funds reflects the wisdom of the crowd. I disagree. Owning what academics refer to as the Market Portfolio comes closer to following a mad crowd than a wise crowd. A long history of academic literature has chronicled that crowds, under the proper conditions, can be incredibly wise. One popular example involves a classroom of students guessing the number of jellybeans in a large jar. As it turns

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