Pragmatic Capitalism

Capital for Living a More Practical Life

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Robo Advisors Don’t Beat Traditional Index Funds

Robo Advisors are all the rage these days. They’re heralded as being superior to other investment services because they use automation to streamline the asset allocation process. This is certainly true when compared to high fee active mutual funds, but the benefit of a robo is far less clear when compared to traditional passive index… Read More

Why I’m Not Worried About Household Debt

The NY Fed released a new update on household debt today showing record levels. Now, at first glance you might be inclined to say “holy cow Batman, we’re on the brink of another 2008 repeat!” Well, not so fast though. When we look at a balance sheet we have to first look at both sides… Read More

Do Index Funds Increase Consumer Price Inflation?

Active managers want you to think index funds are bad because they’re losing tons of money to low cost strategies. And as this trend gains momentum we’re seeing an increasing number of articles and research claiming that index funds are somehow bad. The latest one, this article in the Atlantic, wants you to think that… Read More

If You Own Stocks You’re a Value (and Growth) Investor

I have a general theory about how good business operators think about their businesses: “All business owners think their business is a value and growth business.” What I mean by this is that entrepreneurs and good business owners pretty much always believe their business is selling below its intrinstic value and will provide growth in… Read More

Let’s Talk About “Maximizing Shareholder Value”

The idea of “maximizing shareholder value” (MSV) has been in the news a lot lately (see here and here). This is an idea generally associated with free market capitalism that states corporations should be run primarily for the purpose of maximizing the value they create for owners. This might not seem like a controversial idea, but many commentators argue… Read More

The Best Investment Writing

I am really excited to announce the first edition of The Best Investment Writing. This is a new collaborative book that takes the best writing from some of the best minds in finance. Meb Faber did an awesome job curating the best content from Jason Zweig, Gary Antonacci, Morgan Housel, Ben Hunt, Todd Tresidder, Patrick O’Shaughnessy,… Read More

Indexing isn’t Just for Quitters

* Sorry for the brief hiatus. Life got in the way and I had to take some time off. All is better now in case anyone cares.   Here’s a good interview in Barrons with James Montier of GMO. But a few things really irked me about the interview. This is unusual for me since… Read More