Pragmatic Capitalism

Practical Views on Money, Finance & Life

‘Most Recent Stories’

Brexit, Bregret and Bredo?


I reluctantly dive into the topic of the day….Brexit. The morning after the Brexit vote a large number of people were apparently regretting their vote. A combination of misinformation and misunderstanding appears to have led many people to vote in a manner that they didn’t really believe in. Here’s some of the reports: The most Googled items… Read More

Brexit and the Failure of Democracy


I want to go off topic here today because the recent Brexit vote exposed the extraordinary failure and danger of pure democracy.  People in the USA often refer to the USA as a “democracy”. But this is wrong. The Founding Fathers were terrified of a pure democracy. They intentionally designed the United States so that… Read More

Brexit is Here – Bremain Brational


The UK has decided to leave the EU. It’s a strange vote given how little support there was from reputable economic experts.  The estimates of the economic impact of Brexit were virtually all negative. This makes sense given that leaving the EU only makes trade more difficult, labor less mobile and most things more costly. It’s actually… Read More

Confessions of a Recovering Alpha Junky


For most of the last 20 years I’ve been an alpha junky. That means I was obsessed with trying to “beat the market” and generate excess return. And I was pretty good at it. At one point I was on a 10 year streak with no negative calendar year returns. Between 2005-2012 I ran an… Read More

Is Secular Stagnation Really a Thing?


Did you know that world growth rates have actually picked up since 1980?  Did you know that emerging market growth rates have averaged 4.5% since 1980? You might not know it from the media’s coverage of “secular stagnation”, but global growth isn’t slowing. Secular stagnation is only a thing in the advanced economies of the… Read More

The Three Types of Financial Forecasters


I just finished reading an excellent book called “Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction” by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner. The authors do a wonderful job of putting our reality in the proper perspective and then helping us understand that reality so we can process potential future outcomes in a manner that will have high probability… Read More

Macro Minute – 3 Market Thoughts


After approaching all-time highs just a few weeks ago the US markets suddenly seem to be in turmoil. Maybe not a proper “Markets in Turmoil” situation, but the fear appears palpable again. Here are some random thoughts that may or may not help you navigate some of the craziness: 1 – Brexit Won’t Alter the Valuation… Read More

Winning by Playing Small Ball


Ichiro Suzuki is about to break Pete Rose’s all-time hits record of 4,256.¹ To understand how incredible this record is, just think that Derek Jeter is the only player in the last 20 years to come close to approaching the record. And he finished almost 800 hits shy! The admirable thing about Ichiro is his… Read More