Pragmatic Capitalism

Practical Views on Money & Finance

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There Are no Holy Grails

When the markets get volatile many strategies will start performing poorly. Even your most basic diversified low fee indexing strategy will start to look weak even though it likely beats most professional fund managers.  And when these strategies start to weaken many investors will start getting impatient.  You probably know that nothing works 100% of… Read More

The 1998 Playbook

I usually hate historical comparisons but every once in a while a time comes along where there are just too many similarities to ignore.  And right now looks a lot like one of those times.  The 1998 Asian Currency Crisis is looking all too familiar here.  We had a bunch of countries with pegged currencies… Read More

The Disciplined Investor Podcast Interview

I was on the Disciplined Investor podcast over the weekend with Andrew Horowitz discussing China’s “black box” of finance and some of the ways in which investors can stress test their portfolios. We move into the area of robo-advising and how that may be hazardous to your health over the long-term.  We also touched on the… Read More

The Myth of “Quantitative Tightening”

Over the last 7 years I have repeatedly debunked many of the myths associated with Quantitative Easing.  I said the policy probably wouldn’t have much impact on the economy, wouldn’t cause interest rates to spike, wouldn’t cause high inflation, shouldn’t be referred properly as “money printing” , wouldn’t lead banks to “multiply” their reserves and could even… Read More

Have the Robots Broken the Stock Market?

As more and more economic data comes out it is becoming clear that China really isn’t having much of an impact on the US economy.  Today’s initial jobless claims is about as real-time as it gets and they’re near all-time lows.  So now Monday’s flash crash is becoming an even hotter topic. Here’s my experience and… Read More