The latest edition of three things:
1. I wanted to start by just saying thanks to everyone who reads this site and supports my work. I don’t say that enough. Which is pretty crappy of me.
This website is a strange part of my life. I would have never guessed I’d put so much time and effort into a website if you’d told me that 5 years ago. But it’s been life changing in ways. I’ve learned so much from so many smart people and I appreciate all the nice people I run into here who give me great feedback and support what I am trying to do. I won’t get all sappy on you, but thanks. I mean that.
2. Larry Swedroe drops the boom on John Hussman in this piece. It’s a harsh criticism. I have a huge amount of respect for John Hussman and Larry Swedroe. They’re both brilliant guys. And while John’s performance has been pretty, um, bad, in recent years, I do think Larry contradicts himself a bit.
The whole point of the article is to focus on long-term results and avoid forecasting. He even quotes Warren Buffett. But in berating Hussman Larry fails to point out that he’s demonizing John’s 5 year performance while quoting a guy who has also underperformed the S&P by his own metric for 5 years. Yes, Buffett’s own annual reports have discussed the poor recent performance of Berkshire Hathway relative to the S&P 500 where book value per share has lagged the S&P 500 by 5.4% per year. So it seems a bit contradictory to judge a manager’s short-term performance when you’re emphasizing a long-term perspective.
Anyhow, I think Larry makes some great points. I disagree with his general point on forecasting since I think portfolio construction involves, at a minimum, implicit forecasts, but it’s a good pieces so go have a read.
3. Morgan Housel writes just about the most honest thing you’ll ever read on the finance industry. I won’t spoil it for you, but there are some dark corners in this industry that could use a bit of light. And I think we’re moving in the right direction. But there’s a lot of work to be done.