Money

Poor Parenting Saps the Wealthy

We are talking in a roundabout way that has taken us back to first principles about the human maturation process and how it interacts with the fear of affluent parents that money will ruin their children. There are several characteristic ways that affluent families go wrong, launching the shirtsleeves-​to-​shirtsleeves phenomenon…

Understanding the Trust Fund Baby

by Greg Curtis
We are talking about the complex process through which infants and children are transformed from little beasts into responsible adults. More particularly, we are talking about how that process often goes wrong and never goes perfectly.

Make your Plan Now (While You’re Calm)

by Greg Curtis
“Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis? I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don’t believe it will be.” –Janet Yellen. Last week I suggested six steps we could take to prepare ourselves for the next market crisis — which, Janet Yellen notwithstanding,…

What Will You Do in the Crisis? Part II

by Greg Curtis
“I’m less interested in the return on my money than in the return of my money.” –Mark Twain

What Will You Do in the Crisis?

“The world is in the throes of a Bull Market in everything.” –The Economist. No, I am not — not, not, not — predicting a market crash. (On the other hand, if the market collapses just after I post this, I will naturally take credit for calling it.)

Investing in a Rigged Market, Part IV

If we care about the health of free market economies, then we need to care about how efficiently capital is allocated in those economies. And if we care about efficient capital allocation, then we need to care about the health and efficiency of capital markets, because those markets are the…

Seek, and You Shall Find … Conflicting Investment Advice

The run of this current Raging Bull of a stock market has been exceptionally long: eight-​plus years. (The average bull market has lasted four years, nine months.) In response there has been great conjecture by investment firms, financial advisers, brokers, and market pundits in Pittsburgh about how much longer the…

Squeezing out the Investment Experts

The core problems with central bankers, which have led directly to the catastrophes of the Tech Bust, the Financial Crisis, the pathetically weak recovery from the Great Recession of 2008-​09, and the near-​destruction of the asset management business, are: groupthink, arising out of the fact that every central banker in…

The Fed and Friends

We are talking about the traumatizing events that rocked the asset management business, to say nothing of the world, beginning in 2008, a calamity brought to us courtesy of the world’s central bankers.

Investing in a Rigged Market

The asset management business as we know it today got started in the mid-​19th century. The impetus for investment management firms separate from banks arose out of the awkward fact that banks often fail, while asset management firms hardly ever do.

Will Someone Please Tell Me What This Bitcoin/​Blockchain Thing Is All About?

Everyone has heard of Bitcoin by now (by convention, it’s capitalized when used as a protocol and lower case when used as a unit of exchange, like a dollar), but very few understand the importance of the “blockchain” technology that underpins it. This article expresses no opinion one way or…

Democracy, Populism, and the Tyranny of the Experts, Part IV

Not that long ago — say, when my parents were starting out in married life — building a sound investment portfolio was a piece of cake. You bought some Blue Chip stocks and some Triple A bonds and you were done.

Cash is King

Since the end of the Financial Crisis eight long years ago, a notion has settled across the land that “cash is trash.” This is the bunkmate of the “TINA” principle: There Is No Alternative to owning equities.

Three Simple Questions on the Markets, Part III

We asked a group of the region’s leading wealth managers to pen a response to three questions about the markets and how they approach current conditions. Here are their responses to the final question: If you had to put all your money in one asset class today and couldn’t sell…

Three Simple Questions on the Markets, Part II

We asked a group of the region’s leading wealth managers to pen a response to three questions about the markets and how they approach current conditions. Below are their answers to the second question: The Fed is working to “normalize” interest rates over the course of 2017. What impact will…
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