Pragmatic Capitalism

Practical Views on Money & Finance

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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

The USA’s Debt “Supercycle” Ended in 2007….

This note by Ray Dalio was going around the last few days explaining how the “debt supercycle” is nearing its end.  He says: “the risks of the world being at or near the end of its long-term debt cycle are significant.” Now, there’s no doubt that aggregate debt as a percentage of GDP has increased… Read More

Smart Beta, Dumb Money and EMH

Someone asked me about Smart Beta in the forum the other day and I got to thinking about this.  Indexers are all basically chasing some form of beta.  But some indexers chase beta in stupid ways and some indexers chase beta in smart ways. An increasingly common example of this is the many forms of factor… Read More