Creative Capital

Explaining Donald Trump, Part IV

There is so much emotionalism about Donald Trump—both pro and con—that I’m trying to explain his behavior by looking at issues outside the man himself. I’m looking at how people behave who have very similar personality types (i. e., mega entrepreneurial personalities, or MEPs) and at how people are likely to fare in the Presidency …

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Explaining Donald Trump, Part III

I’m claiming to be able to explain Donald Trump—and predict his actions as President—by reference to only two of his characteristics. The first is that he’s what I’ve called a Mega Entrepreneurial Personality, a trait he shares with an infinitesimally small group of Americans. The second trait is something Trump shares with almost all of …

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Explaining Donald Trump, Part II

I’m determined to explain Donald Trump by referring to merely two of his traits, the first of which I’ve dubbed the Mega Entrepreneurial Personality, or MEP. Here are a few more examples of MEP characteristics we’ll need to consider as we try to understand the 45th President of the United States: MEPs are utterly fearless, not …

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Explaining Donald Trump

If writing about music is like dancing about architecture, then explaining about Trump is like sneezing about hermeneutics. I believe it to be the general opinion across the land that anyone who thinks he can explain Donald Trump has probably just escaped from an Institution for the Criminally Insane. From where I sit it appears …

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Capital Preservation Paul, Part VII

Well, the best-laid plans…I’d intended to interview the contestants in our little investment contest to get their take on the markets and on how well or badly they, personally, had navigated the various challenges those markets had offered. I was especially interested in what, if anything, the contestants had learned. But I was mainly thwarted. …

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Capital Preservation Paul, Part VI

Bull Markets and Bear Markets are such momentous events that they tend to fixate investor attention to the exclusion of more important matters. Most people, for example, would define a “market cycle” with reference to Bulls and Bears. Typically, investors might view a market cycle as extending from the peak of a Bull to the …

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Capital Preservation Paul, Part V

So far in our increasingly exciting investment contest, it’s been a positive experience all around. For the first three years the capital markets rose relentlessly: a modestly positive first year followed by two terrific Bull Market years. But things are about to change. Now, in Year 4 of our contest, the good times seem like …

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Capital Preservation Paul, Part IV

Last week we observed how our investment competitors fared as they navigated a boring, so-so market environment. But this week things get more interesting. As we will recall, Years 2 and 3 of our contest were Bull Market years. The equity markets were so strong that even highly diversified portfolios rose 15% in Year 2 …

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Capital Preservation Paul, Part III

Last week we asked Mr. Market to establish the playing field for our investment contest. This week we’ll check in to see how our contestants are faring. Year 1 of the contest, we will recall, was a so-so, boring year in the markets. Mr. Market’s portfolio—that is, a portfolio with exactly the same asset allocation …

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Capital Preservation Paul, Part II

On the last day of March, we launched our own, far more interesting version of March Madness, namely, an investment contest. Our contest features the Investing Final Four, that is, the four main kinds of investors I’ve encountered in a long and checkered career in the financial advisory business. But instead of competing for something …

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Capital Preservation Paul

I’ve been in the business of advising wealthy families for 40 years. (Actually, it’s been longer than that, but I’ve reached the age where everything gets rounded down.) Over all those years, almost every family I’ve worked with has followed an investment strategy focused on the preservation of their capital, and it’s not hard to …

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Loose Change, Part X

“Without courage all other virtues are useless” – Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire We are talking about climate change, this being the tenth and (finally!) last post in my long series on “changes” that might be considered by the new Trump Administration. In my last post, I alluded to scientific misgivings about the seminal “Seven Nations” …

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Loose Change, Part IX

Headline of the future: “Oat Bran—the Silent Killer.” (Woody Allen or David Letterman, I forget which.) We are courageously dealing with the controversial subject of climate change, but since my courage is running low, this will be our next-to-last foray into the subject. My fundamental argument about the climate issue is that while the climate …

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Loose Change, Part VIII

“What have future generations ever done for us?” – Groucho Marx Last week we took on the controversial subject of climate change. This week, just to demonstrate how reckless a humble blogger can be, we’ll return to the scene of the crime and do it all over again. When I was in college I took …

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Loose Change, Part VII

In my last post we looked at the need for “change” in one controversial domestic sector, education. But since that wasn’t nearly contentious enough (I only got about 400,000 death threats), let’s move on to something really controversial: climate change. Strangely enough, climate science is a subject I actually know something about. (You needn’t be …

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Loose Change, Part VI

In my last few posts we looked at some of the more controversial “changes” in the international arena that seem to be demanded. Now we’ll turn to the domestic sector, beginning with education. The controversy surrounding Betsy DeVos’s nomination as Education Secretary obscures a far more urgent issue: the state of American public education today, especially …

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Loose Change, Part V

Last week we examined one of the “changes” Americans are looking for, and we focused on Russia. This week let’s look at a remarkably similar situation, namely: Israel As with Russia, when Barack Obama left office America’s relations with Israel had hit rock bottom, as bad as they had been since the State of Israel …

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Loose Change, Part IV

Last week we solved the problem of reforming a defective Affordable Care Act in a simple and brilliant manner. Alas, not all the changes Americans want—and voted for—will be so simple to effect. For example, let’s turn to: Russia Although President Obama entered office promising to “reset” America’s relations with Russia, he left office with …

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Loose Change, Part III

In my last post I breathlessly announced that I held the solution to the American healthcare dilemma in my hot little hands. While the hapless Republicans and Democrats are stumbling around blaming each other and wishing the healthcare issue would just blow away, your humble blogger has solved the problem without breathing hard. In order …

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Loose Change, Part II

In my last post we observed how overwhelming the desire for “change” is in America, and we also paused to notice the penalty the Democratic Party has paid for ignoring voters’ wishes. In this post and the ones that follow, I will touch on some of the more important policies and practices that will be …

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Loose Change

Since the Presidential election there has been a lot of loose talk about “change.” In this series of posts we’ll try to tighten up that conversation by identifying some specific changes Americans have on their minds. Specifically, I’ll touch on some of the more controversial changes the new Administration will be evaluating. Before we get …

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Is Everything That Didn’t Work Worthless? Part IV

We began this series of posts by examining the sorry state of value investing. We then moved on to making unfashionable arguments on behalf of hedge fund fees and performance. We’ll close the series by looking at the important role hedge funds—and, for that matter, value investing—play in the long-term success of investment portfolios. Hedge …

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