Pragmatic Capitalism

Practical Views on Money & Finance

‘Myth Busting’

What If Everyone Indexed?

I see this question more and more as indexing grows in popularity.  People generally think that more indexing will make the markets  function less efficiently .  I don’t think this is true at all.  Unfortunately, the question and its answers are usually shrouded in misunderstandings about how assets are priced and myths about what it… Read More

Tobin’s Q Is Not a Valid Market Timing Metric

Over the course of the last seven years many market pundits have relied on Tobin’s Q to argue that the stock market is overvalued and I’ve argued that the indicator is misleading (see here for a sampling of the many predictions made with this metric).  And then today I noticed this piece on MarketWatch arguing… Read More

The MV=Py Myth

I’m pulling this one out of the AMA section because it’s a common question I see. Reader Oshe asked about the Equation of Exchange otherwise known as MV=Py, where M is the quantity of money, P is the price level, Y is total output and V is velocity, or the number of times that a dollar is used… Read More

Myths About the USA’s Fiscal Union

The FT ran a piece about the fiscal union in the USA and why this system couldn’t be replicated in Europe to help resolve the Euro crisis. I wanted to touch on the author’s main points to highlight some of the errors in the thinking there. Myth # 1 – “So let’s state three facts… Read More

Why The Efficient Market Hypothesis is Useless

I noticed Noah Smith and John Authers on Twitter discussing how great the Efficient Market Hypothesis is because it explains why indexing works. I responded saying that the EMH really has nothing to do with why indexing works. They didn’t seem to see my point of view so let’s try this again and see if we… Read More

The 5 Best Things I Wrote About in 2014

I’ve written an embarrassing number of posts on this website over the last 6 years. Most of them probably aren’t all that useful, but every once in a world this blind squirrel catches a nut. Here are five of the more influential and popular things I wrote about this year: 1.  Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor… Read More

The Myth of Passive Investing Begins to Unravel….

You know an idea is starting to go mainstream in the investment world when it hits the pages of the Wall Street Journal.  I have been harping endlessly this year about how important it is to understand that passive investing is a myth and a marketing tale.  And today, we see this post by Josh… Read More

William Vickrey’s 15 Economic Myths Debunked

This is an oldie but a goodie.  William Vickrey was a Canadian economist and Nobel Laureate.   He was well known for being critical of most things out of the Chicago School of Economics.  This piece on 15 economic fallacies has been largely ignored, but the lessons are important and certainly as relevant today as… Read More