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Stingy News: Zweig

Lessons from Benjamin Graham
07/16/18 Books Graham Zweig
"In June 2003, HarperCollins Publishers asked if I would be interested in updating Benjamin Graham's classic The Intelligent Investor. After determining that the proposal was not somebody's idea of a practical joke, I agreed to take on the project. And as I worked on revising the book, I was reminded, once again, what a genius Graham was."

Good advice, or advice that sounds good?
12/11/17 Media Zweig
"I stumbled across an obscure academic article that shocked me. A psychologist had compared the investment results of people who received frequent news updates about their stocks against those who got no news at all. He found that no news is good news: Investors who were kept in the dark outperformed the news junkies by up to 56%."

1974 and 1999: history turned upside down
12/11/17 Markets Zweig
"Many years later, a leading small-stock fund manager recalled to me, half-horrified and half-amused, that he was ranked in the top tenth of his peers in 1973 and 1974. After inflation, he reminisced, he had lost only 85% of his shareholders' money since the beginning of 1973."

Best mutual fund disclosure
03/19/17 Funds Zweig
"While the long-term bias in stock prices is upward, stocks enter a bear market with amazing regularity, about every 3 - 4 years. It goes with the territory. Expect it. Live with it. If you can't do that, go bury your money in a jar or put it in the bank and don't bother us about why your investment goes south sometimes or why water runs downhill."

Let your winners run
03/12/17 Markets Zweig
"Modern capitalism is built on the idea that as companies get big, they become fat and happy, opening themselves up to lean and hungry competitors who can underprice and overtake them. That cycle of creative destruction may be changing in ways that help explain the seemingly unstoppable rise of the stock market."

A portrait of Jason Zweig
01/01/17 Zweig
"When an inmate in federal prison reminisces about what you were like as a child, you pay attention."

Jason Zweig interview
10/02/16 Zweig
"In this episode, Jason Zweig and I discuss investing, financial advice, books, and life in general. The method for living discussed in the last 30 minutes will be useful for everyone."

Save more money
07/17/16 Thrift Zweig
"Bonds pay borrowers while lenders earn nothing. Stocks soar to all-time highs. How weird is today's financial world? It's weird, all right, but probably not as weird as you think."

Bonds aren't wretched
07/17/16 Bonds Zweig
"Why do so many bond investors feel nostalgic for the days when yields were negative (after inflation)?"

Shareholders are disappearing
06/11/16 Markets Zweig
"Under SEC rules, a company with fewer than 300 shareholders - or a bank with fewer than 1,200 - may choose to deregister with the federal securities regulator. The stock can still trade publicly, but the company is no longer required to file its financial statements and other disclosures with the SEC."

Jason Zweig talks at Google
04/10/16 Books Zweig
"Jason Zweig will discuss his latest book, The Devil's Financial Dictionary, and how he went about distilling everything he had learned in almost three decades as an investing journalist into definitions of Wall Street terms that are, in many cases, only a few words long."

Demystifying Wall Street
11/21/15 Books Behaviour Zweig
"Can a better understanding of Wall Street help us become more successful investors? We are joined by Jason Zweig, a highly respected financial journalist, "The Intelligent Investor" columnist at The Wall Street Journal and author. His latest book, The Devil's Financial Dictionary provides an entertaining, informative and insightful look into Wall Street's true nature." [video]

An interview with Jason Zweig
09/12/15 Zweig
"Barry Ritholtz interviews Jason Zweig, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and the author of 'Your Money and Your Brain.' They discuss social media and financial journalism."

The art of investing
09/05/15 History Books Zweig
"The market values of our leading securities [are] determined by...a howling mob of incurable lunatics" [via Jason Zweig]

Ten tips for writing a book
07/04/15 Books Zweig
"Never write a book ..."

Benjamin Graham and index funds
04/11/15 Indexing Graham Zweig
"Benjamin Graham also believed in index funds, as his own statements show."

Lessons from Black Friday
12/06/14 Zweig
"The ultimate lesson: When assets are priced for perfection in an imperfect world, investors who don't slash their expectations are apt to be disappointed at best and devastated at worst."

Believing what you read
11/29/14 Markets Books Zweig
"Mackay's book is still enormously entertaining - and worth reading - 170 years after it was published. But Mackay is often quoted as though he were an objective authority on the history of notorious bubbles like the 17th century Dutch tulip mania and the South Sea stock bubble of 1720 in England. Readers should bear in mind that Mackay was a storyteller, and that modern researchers have been unable to confirm some of his best-known anecdotes - and have disproved others altogether."

A fireside chat with Charlie Munger
09/13/14 Graham Munger Zweig
"You have to strike the right balance between competency or knowledge on the one hand and gumption on the other. Too much competency and no gumption is no good. And if you don't know your circle of competence, then too much gumption will get you killed. But the more you know the limits to your knowledge, the more valuable gumption is."

Charles Munger: Secrets of Buffett's Success
09/13/14 Value Investing Munger Zweig
"Why did nearly 250 investors converge on Los Angeles this past week to listen to a 90-year-old man address the annual meeting of a tiny legal-publishing and software company? To hear Charles T. Munger - better known as Warren Buffett's right-hand man - expound on one of his least-known holdings and just about everything else."

The Peculiar Passivity of Active Management
08/29/14 Funds Zweig
"If active stock-pickers are going to prove their worth, they'd better start getting a lot more active - not by trading more, but by looking different from the indexes they are trying to beat."

Backtesting backfire
06/29/14 Behaviour Zweig
"Given long enough time and deep enough data, you can find a seemingly impressive linkage between almost any two factors. But correlation isn't causation."

Financial advisor fees
04/12/14 Funds Brokers Zweig
"The Wall Street Journal's two top personal finance journalists, Jonathan Clements and Jason Zweig, both now at The Wall Street Journal tackle the three greatest financial challenges facing Americans. [video]"

Retiring on your own terms
02/01/14 Retirement Zweig
"To be assured of having enough money to fund a comfortable retirement, you should save a total of 22 times the annual income you want to earn when you retire. That is higher than many previous estimates, but it offers near-certainty of hitting your target."

Consuelo interviews Jason Zweig
08/04/13 Dividends Indexing Zweig
"'There's no doubt that the pursuit of yield is bordering on a mania' says Jason Zweig, The Wall Street Journal's Personal Finance Columnist. Don't miss Consuelo's discussion when she asks Zweig about dangerous investor behavior and why he is concerned as investors are abandoning bonds and flocking to dividend-paying stocks."

Who should try to beat the market?
08/04/13 Indexing Zweig
"Instead, Zweig thinks Graham would have advised those who have an edge at stock-picking to do so, while recommending those who don't take a passive approach with index funds"

So that's why
06/21/10 Zweig
"In other words, investors often go along with the crowd because - at the most basic biological level - conformity feels good. Moving in herds doesn't just give investors a sense of "safety in numbers." It also gives them pleasure. That may help explain why market sentiment can change so swiftly, why true contrarians are so hard to find and why investors care so much about the "consensus view" on Wall Street."

When the Global Debt Shuffle Hits Home
05/09/10 Debt Zweig
"The U.S. now has a heavier debt burden than several of the overleveraged countries that have been branded with the scornful nickname "the PIIGS." Portugal's debt, according to the IMF, is 85.9% of its GDP; Ireland's, 78.8%; Italy, 118.6%; Greece, 124.1%; Spain, 66.9%. Perhaps there should be a new acronym, with the U.S. added to Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain: "PIG IS U.S.""

Investors keep fooling themselves
01/16/10 Markets Zweig
"Historically, inflation has eaten away three percentage points of return a year. Investment expenses and taxes each have cut returns by roughly one to two percentage points a year. All told, those costs reduce annual returns by five to seven points. So, in order to earn 6% for clients after inflation, fees and taxes, these financial planners will somehow have to pick investments that generate 11% or 13% a year before costs. Where will they find such huge gains? Since 1926, according to Ibbotson Associates, U.S. stocks have earned an annual average of 9.8%. Their long-term, net-net-net return is under 4%. All other major assets earned even less. If, like most people, you mix in some bonds and cash, your net-net-net is likely to be more like 2%."

Will fees stop bugging investors?
12/20/09 Funds Zweig
"Don Phillips, managing director at Morningstar Inc., the fund researcher, argues that 12b-1 fees "are a farce, because they don't capture all the distribution costs." Some fund managers pay for marketing out of their management fees, for example. Mr. Phillips suggests that funds should overhaul their financial statements by sorting all expenses into three main buckets: "investment management," or what it costs to research and run the portfolio; "sales and marketing," or what it costs to distribute the fund; and "operations," or overhead like accounting and legal expenses."

A career spent finding value
12/16/09 Value Investing Funds Tweedy Zweig
"'He was something of a collector,' said analyst A. Michael Lipper of Lipper Advisory Services. 'It took a lot of disappointment for him to get rid of an underperforming stock. Could somebody else have produced better results by getting rid of the losers? One might think so, but it wasn't [Tweedy, Browne's] style.'"

The CEO may not change the company
12/04/09 Management Zweig
"How much of a difference should investors expect when General Motors - or any company - brings in a new chief executive? Not much."

Too late for the junk-bond party?
11/29/09 Bonds Zweig
"Baylor University finance professor William Reichenstein says that junk-bond returns mirror what you would get if you put two-thirds of the money in investment-grade bonds and one-sixth each in large-company stocks and small-company stocks - all of which you probably own already."

More stocks may not make a portfolio safer
11/22/09 Zweig
"As many studies have shown, at least 40% of the variability in returns can be reduced by moving from a single company to 20. Once a portfolio contains 20 or 30 stocks, adding more does little to damp the fluctuations in wealth over time. But this research on diversification was based on the average results of a large number of portfolios randomly generated by computer. Something entirely different happens when flesh-and-blood humans try to pile up stocks one at a time."

Using the lottery effect to make people save
11/16/09 Zweig
"Based on recent headlines, you might think that Americans are finally saving again. Want to bet? In 2007, the latest year for which final numbers are available, Americans spent $92.3 billion on legalized gambling, according to Christiansen Capital Advisors; that same year, says the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Americans saved only $57.4 billion."

Staying calm in a world of dark pools
10/26/09 Markets Zweig
"In 1976, the great financial analyst Benjamin Graham declared that "the stock market resembles a huge laundry in which institutions take in large blocks of each other's washing ... without rhyme or reason." Mr. Graham died that year, but today he would laugh at the speed of the spin cycle. He would then ignore the momentary vibrations in a company's stock price and go right back to analyzing the value of its business. As an investor, you are free to choose your own time horizon. If other people want to try earning a few fractions of a penny a few thousand times a day, you should wish them well -- and refuse to join them."

Don't let a market crash hit you
10/11/09 Markets Zweig
"Benjamin Graham -- Mr. Buffett's mentor -- advised splitting your money equally between stocks and bonds. Graham added that your stock proportion should never go below 25% (when you think stocks are expensive and bonds are cheap) or above 75% (when stocks seem cheap). Graham's rule remains a good starting point even today. If time turns out to be your enemy instead of your friend, you will be very glad to have some of your money elsewhere."

You've got blackmail
07/02/09 Crime Zweig
"My advice: If AOL comes after you, then go after AOL."

Take Benjamin Graham's advice
05/23/09 Behaviour Graham Zweig
"It is sometimes said that to be an intelligent investor, you must be unemotional. That isn't true; instead, you should be inversely emotional. Even after recent turbulence, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up roughly 30% since its low in March. It is natural for you to feel happy or relieved about that. But Benjamin Graham believed, instead, that you should train yourself to feel worried about such events."

Joe investor, the markets are all yours
11/16/08 Markets Zweig
"This is a huge change for the little guys. Rob Arnott, who oversees $35 billion at Research Affiliates LLC in Newport Beach, Calif., puts it this way: "The question that hardly anyone ever thinks about is: Who's on the other side of my trade, and why are they willing to be losers if I'm going to be a winner?" Ever since the 1970s, the person on the other side of your trade has almost always been someone who manages billions of dollars and has millions of dollars to spend on gathering more information than most individuals ever could. Now, however, as Mr. Arnott says, "You can -- and probably do -- have a counterparty on the other side of your trade who absolutely has to sell, perhaps at any price." You would be very wise to give these distressed sellers a little bit of your cash, which they overvalue, in exchange for some of the stocks and bonds that they are undervaluing."

Take a deep breath, calm yourself
10/18/08 Behaviour Zweig
"You can catch other people's emotions as easily as you can catch a cold. In an experiment by neuroscientist Elizabeth Phelps at New York University, people either watched someone else get a mildly painful electric shock or suffered the shock themselves. Their brain responses and their dread before the shock were highly similar in both cases, suggesting that seeing another person's fear is all it takes to make us afraid. Even encountering the circumstances under which the other person was shocked is enough to trigger your own fear. Viewed this way, today's financial markets -- in which tens of millions of investors watch each other's fears unfolding in real time on television and online -- constitute one giant panic-transmission machine."

How to control your fears
07/21/08 Behaviour Zweig
"What goes on inside your head when your portfolio implodes? One of the fear centers in your brain, the amygdala, can respond to upsetting stimuli in 12 milliseconds, or one-25th the time it takes to blink your eye. These brain cells fire when an attack dog snarls at you, a spider drops down your shirt or the Dow Jones Industrial Average takes a dive."

Stop worrying, and learn to love the bear
07/12/08 Graham Buffett Zweig
"When you bought into the gospel of "stocks for the long run," did you have any idea how long the long run can turn out to be? Exactly 10 years ago, the Standard & Poor's 500-stock Index was at 1164; it closed Friday at 1239. That's an annualized average return of 0.63%. At that rate, it will take you 111 more years to double your money in the stock market."

How to lose $9 trillion in a bull market
11/29/07 Zweig
"Based on decades of data from 19 countries, Dichev thinks that the average investor incurs a "timing penalty" of 1.5 percentage points a year by buying high and selling low. Impatience will cost you dearly."

Good advice, or advice that sounds good?
02/10/06 Zweig
"In the short run, however, the best way to get ahead is to check your conscience at the door. Most readers, and all too many editors, want to hear about the newest, the hottest, the get-rich-quick schemes, the secret "keys to wealth" that have miraculously been overlooked or hidden by "the experts." Good advice easily gets drowned out by advice that just sounds good. In 1999, any journalist who peddled the sexy idea of putting all your money in tech stocks was hailed as a genius. At the same time, anyone who preached the sober gospel of caution was called a "moron," a "f--head" or an "ignorant a--hole." (That is a delicate selection from among the thousands of e-mails that criticized my online columns in 1999 and 2000.) When markets go mad, the responsible financial journalist has to stand as a voice of reason -- even though leaning against the wind isn't easy in a hurricane."

The way of the calm investor
09/13/04 Zweig
"If getting rich is supposed to make you feel good, why are so many investors so agitated so much of the time -- even when the market goes up?"

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