2018 was a brutal year for individual stock investors. Following the relatively calm performance in 2016 and 2017, the US stock market in 2018 was marked with high volatility. It went down by 10% in the first quarter, and then gradually recovered. It dropped again in the fourth … [Read more...] about Investor anxiety
What a quarter that was! The US stock market first reached a new high in October and then dropped 10%. It bounced around for a while. And then in late December, it dropped again—this time more than 15% off its peak. By some measures, it actually dropped 20% briefly (intra-day) … [Read more...] about Investing amid volatility: My 4Q update
The other day, I came across an interesting, albeit hypothetical, auction scenario: Ten companies were bidding for the right to drill in a land tract. Each had done a geological survey of the land and privately assessed how much oil is in there. These surveys were known to be … [Read more...] about Anchor on a business’s value, not its price
Last year in November I wrote a blog post (Why I Stay Invested in Stocks?) about some investors (they were my friends) who were convinced that a market crash was imminent, and they were waiting on sidelines with cash to invest. Well, this is nearly the end of 2018 and that crash … [Read more...] about Why that market crash didn’t happen?
This is not a panic post. I don’t know when the next market downturn would happen. I don’t care to know either. My investing is not based on predicting future events. As Howard Marks wrote once, "taking bold actions based on forecasts of things that are uncertain isn’t just … [Read more...] about Are you prepared for stock market winter?
Last week, I shared results of my 10-year investing experience with a broad market index fund: My 10-year odyssey with a Schwab index fund. This post follows up on that theme by simulating several related scenarios. None of them I experienced myself but they’re still useful to … [Read more...] about What if I had invested near the stock market peak?
In July 1999, Warren Buffett gave a speech to business leaders in Sun Valley, Idaho. Back then, the U.S. stock market had been on a tear. Understandably, many attendees were very optimistic about their businesses’ prospects. Undaunted though, Buffett went on to make the argument … [Read more...] about When do I exit stock positions?
Why do I say that? Because people often think of the stock market as a roller coaster. It goes up for a while, but then goes down, eventually ending up at the same place where it began, and then the cycle starts over. The implication is that one must catch the up-cycle to make … [Read more...] about Stock investing is not a zero-sum game
Various organizations and economists in the USA try their hand in predicting when the next recession might occur – none of them have been very successful. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) is the de facto authority that marks the beginning and the end of each … [Read more...] about Nobody’s good at predicting recessions
The bad news is that we, the individual investors, collectively don’t do so well when investing in stocks. The good news is that most of this underperformance is due to our own behavior and therefore can be fixed. Let’s first look at the evidence of our underperformance over … [Read more...] about Most investors underperform the stock market