indexes

Our take on the investing, financial, & economic themes of the day

There’s No Such Thing as Passive Investing

19 June, 2015 by Matthew O'Brien, Ph.D. in Commentary
Benchmarking in most businesses makes sense. But in investment, it prompts investors to outsource their judgment to a few indexers that have become the world’s stockpickers of last resort. John Authers, Financial Times One of the best arguments for the success of active management as an ... read more...

On Stock-Picking Monkeys & Equal-Weight Stock Indices

“A blindfolded monkey throwing darts at a newspaper’s financial pages could select a portfolio that would do just as well as one carefully selected by experts.”  So wrote Princeton economist Burton Malkiel, famously, in A Random Walk Down Wall Street (1973).  The other week ... read more...

So You Want to Invest in Emerging Markets?

The path from a good investment theory to a good actionable investment is a tricky one.  The other day Ben noted how investing requires both narrative and numbers, and neither alone is sufficient.  One of the strongest big-picture investment narratives is the long-term growth potential of ... read more...

Rethinking Performance Benchmarks

16 September, 2013 by Ben O'Brien in Commentary
In the section of our website called “On Performance” we explain why the usual stock benchmarks are often not a good basis for comparison of your portfolio’s performance. This may sound surprising (and maybe self-serving) because in much of the financial world there is an obsession with beating ... read more...