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It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Most humans are not very good at investing.  We have too many deep-seated emotional and psychological preferences and quirks which are constantly ready to lead us astray.  We hate taking losses so we sit on our losers.  We fall in love with our stocks so we don’t harvest our winners. We remember stock prices from [...]
High Stability beats High Frequency
I have been reading the new book “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis, which concerns high frequency trading (“HFT”) and automated electronic trading systems. The book has garnered a lot of attention, primarily due to its allegation that the markets are “rigged”. Indeed, the book presents compelling evidence that very sophisticated computer driven systems, [...]
Paving the Way to a General Motors Recovery
Every so often, smart managers make dumb mistakes. Good ones learn from them while bad ones are often replaced. In 2010, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told a group of students that “setbacks will happen and when they do, it’s okay to get depressed [and] to blame others —for a while. Eventually you have [...]
Happy Fifth Anniversary – Five Years from the Bottom of the Crash
This week marks the fifth anniversary of the very bottom of the stock market crash.  In early March, 2009, the TSX Index hit 7,480, a drop of just over 50% from the highs of only nine months earlier.  Stock market investors were battered and stunned.  No one knew if worse was to come, and there [...]
Making the case for DIRECTV
What was I thinking? Invest in a company with no dividend? A company whose only product was satellite TV subscriptions? Was I out of my mind to propose to my colleagues that we should invest in a company that faces such serious threats as Netflix, cord-cutting and piracy? I knew I would be met [...]
Loonie Losing Altitude: Four Reasons Why
Four months ago, in October, the Canadian dollar was worth about US$.97, not quite at parity, but not so far from it either. Today, it is worth about US$.90, a drop of over 7%, and many economists and pundits are saying that it has further to fall. It is unusual for a major currency [...]
Bed, Bath and Patience Required
Let’s face it: Bed Bath & Beyond delivered a real stinker of a quarter last week. To add insult to injury, the company lowered its earnings guidance by about 5% for the rest of year. A laundry list of items is to blame, including online competition, heavy discounting, bad weather and a tired consumer. As [...]
Emerging market investing: You’re not in Kansas anymore
When you invest for a living, it is hard to escape your profession, even during vacation. When my wife and I landed in Lima, Peru just before Christmas, I couldn’t help but notice the Scotiabank branch across the street from our hotel. When we turned on the television, we found that service was [...]
You need patience to buy a “no brainer”
What if you could buy a business that you knew would be in operation for at least 30 years at its current rate. What if the business was being valued at less than half it was five years ago, even though its cash flow and dividend have more than doubled? And, what if you [...]
Did you get a raise this year?
A Bitcoin can’t do it. A piece of art will never dare. A bottle of wine? Forget about it. A bond? Are you out of your mind? There’s nothing quite like a dividend increase. You don’t have to put extra hours at the office to get one. All you need is excess cash and a [...]