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Tom's Favorites

  • emotional finance May 1, 2013

    "What is it like to be a fund manager?" Interviews with many of them yield an unusual and informative look at investment decision making by professionals.

  • wicked environments Apr 4, 2013

    Three notable experts from different disciplines weigh in on the nature of expertise -- a three-way mirror for investment professionals to contemplate.

  • the illusion of certainty Mar 21, 2013

    The buyers of investment services are looking for something that isn't there -- and the sellers of those services too often will promise it to them.

  • analysis plus communication Nov 1, 2012

    What's the formula for success in the investment world? For analysts and other professionals, it might be different than you think.

  • dance of the heavyweights May 19, 2012

    Two leading lights of academia appeared on the stage (with radically different conceptions of the economic world), illuminating the interplay of their ideas with the investment industry.

  • analogies and anomalies Mar 14, 2012

    Much discourse in the investment world relates today's situation to one of the past. Therefore, the ability to see through the fog of comparison is very important.

  • degrees of difficulty Oct 10, 2011

    Lumping similar kinds of investment vehicles together for performance comparison is the way of the world. But there's an important dimension that's often forgotten.

  • bond math Aug 29, 2011

    No matter the asset class or investment strategy, there are limitations that exist to the generation of attractive returns. Beware managers who don't acknowledge them.

  • picturing process Jun 2, 2011

    Investment firms and advisors market their wares using pitch books, but the pages that are meant to illustrate how they do what they do are often counterproductive.

  • up on the farm May 23, 2011

    Going back to the land is a popular investment theme of the day, but what economic calculations support the notion? It's time to pencil out some answers.

  • a street named desire Aug 30, 2010

    "All the world's a stage," wrote the Bard, and another play hundreds of years later prompts analogies to the world of investments.

  • everything is relative Jun 1, 2010

    A relentless focus on comparative performance has resulted in patterns of decisions by the buyers and sellers of investment services that are good for neither.

  • the cave and the flow May 14, 2010

    Dealing with the deluge of information at our disposal requires us to consider when to submerge ourselves in it and when to seek understanding elsewhere.

  • pictures with warren Mar 3, 2010

    Our images of great investors and business managers can impede our ability to objectively see whether they have a plan for the future that makes sense.

  • structured myopia Feb 25, 2010

    The structuring of investment organizations often is done along lines that ignore the way that information flows through the markets.

  • unpegged Feb 10, 2010

    In trying to determine what to pay for a stock, investors use all kinds of calculations and metrics. Unfortunately, one of the most common just isn't very good.

  • thinking about doing Feb 4, 2010

    You have an investment task, be it a job or a hobby. How much time do you spend contemplating your approach versus executing it? An Olympic lesson for us all.

  • the performance parade Nov 30, 2009

    When it comes to judging which research firms are best, investment people naturally look to some measure of performance. Beware the traps.

  • situational awareness Oct 26, 2009

    As the plane went cruising over my head last week, I didn't know it would become an international story, but one quote led to inescapable metaphors worth pondering.

  • thus spake the king Sep 24, 2009

    Making investment decisions in a group setting is fraught with issues. Let's return to the table and focus on the leader of the group for now.

  • first name basis Jul 16, 2009

    As market players gain fame, it is easy to identify too closely with them. You never know when they are going to lose their luster.

  • celebrating independence Jul 3, 2009

    During this holiday, we talk much of independence and the independent spirit. Coincidentally, everyone in the investment business wants to claim its importance as well.

  • the mysterious waffle Feb 25, 2009

    Brokerage firms are in the habit of paying handsome sums to get those that can produce commissions to come to work for them. By the way, those commissions come from you.

  • the art of triangulation Dec 22, 2008

    To avoid the tunnel vision that accompanies much decision making, it is good to force a three-sided attack on the problem.

  • the tide went out Dec 12, 2008

    The spectacular frauds that make headlines reinforce the need to apply exacting standards and processes to the due diligence of investment products and managers.

  • feeling the pressure Dec 4, 2008

    When "everyone else is doing it," it might be time to step back and assess whether it is time for you to go along or time to stand apart.

  • about that dashboard Sep 12, 2008

    What do the dials, gauges, and warning lights say about how you are meeting your goals and those of your firm?

  • wall street runs this world Aug 26, 2008

    We are in a time of contraction and confusion in the financial markets, and at many of the most important firms. Maybe things could be done differently.

  • out of position Jul 16, 2008

    An errant move has left you or your firm with what seems like an insurmountable goal; maybe it's time to think about golf.

  • growth promises Jul 7, 2008

    The story of Starbucks is yet another in a long line of situations where reaching to meet Wall Street expectations has been a failed strategy.

  • check your aspect ratio Jun 6, 2008

    A horse race on television provides a moment of reflection about whether the frame of reference that we employ matches the subject matter at hand.

  • parabolic dreams May 28, 2008

    The emergence of price charts with a certain geometric look attract attention and spawn dreams of opportunity that may not come to be.