Factor Investing: Buyers Beware

A highlight of the 2016 Morningstar ETF Conference was the keynote address by the former leader of U.S. Navy Seal Team Six, Rob O’Neill. Chief O’Neill shared some stories about his training and operations as an elite Navy Seal. The take away lessons from his talk were the importance of preparation, discipline, and keeping the mission goal…

Risk Tolerance Assessment

When I attended the Harvard Business School my favorite class was Managerial Economics.  It focused on decision making under uncertainty [1]. The first thing to understand here is the concept of expected value. You determine this by multiplying each outcome by the probability of its occurrence, then adding them all together. For example, the expected…

Book Review: Standard Deviations, Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics

Years ago, when asked to recommend some good investment books, I often suggested ones dealing with the psychological issues influencing investor behavior. These focused on investor fear and greed, showing “what fools these mortals be.” Here are examples: Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation by Edward Chancellor, and Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of…