Pragmatic Capitalism

Practical Views on Money, Finance & Life

‘Most Recent Stories’

Can you be a Fiduciary Without the Best Low Cost Options?

Here’s some blockbuster news from AdvisorHub: EXCLUSIVE: Morgan Stanley Purges Vanguard Mutual Funds Wow. A brokerage firm purges the largest low cost fund manager on Earth from their platform. That’s amazing. This is like the food court in your local mall purging pizza.  Which is a pretty good analogy for what a brokerage firm is… Read More

Can You Pick the Best Factors?

In the footnotes of my last post on factor investing I asked if I was being too skeptical: Maybe I’ve read too much Carl Sagan who once said: “If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then,… Read More

It’s Always Different This Time – Sports Edition

Although I live in Southern California I will always be a Washington sports fan. I didn’t forget where I came from after all. But even though I reside in the sunny skies of SoCal I am tormented all year by the storms that accompany every Washington sports team. This is especially true of the Nationals and… Read More

Factor Investing – Tilting at Windmills

(I hope you have your big boy pants on today because I am about to unleash another beat down on factor investing. I apologize in advance to all my colleagues in finance who love factor investing so much.) Factor investing is all the rage these days. If you don’t know what it is, stop being… Read More

The Biggest Risk of Passive Investing

There’s been a lot of outcry over the years about how passive investing is creating all these new risks. High fee active managers are always critical because they say silly things like “indexing is average” (see my response). Some other people say it’s hurting the economy (see my response). Others have even compared it to… Read More

The Most Dangerous Narratives are Usually the Smartest

You’ve probably read a million market narratives that sound super smart. But have you ever read one that was so over-the-top smart that it just sounded like it had to be true?  I consider myself to be a pretty smart market participant (this conclusion is under considerable debate in most circles) and in recent years… Read More

Let’s Talk About Shrinkage

There’s a lot of concern these days about shrinkage. No, not Seinfeld shrinkage. We’re talking about Federal Reserve Balance Sheet shrinkage and how the Fed might go about reducing the size of its balance sheet. When the Fed started expanding their balance sheet in 2008 during the financial crisis there was a great deal of… Read More

The Evidence Based Investing Conference

I am really excited to announce that I will be speaking on a panel at the upcoming Evidence Based Investing Conference in Dana Point, CA from June 25-June 27 hosted by the great people at Ritholtz Wealth.  My panel is titled: “Is Economics an Evidence-Based Proposition?” Can investors make use of economic data in formulating… Read More