So, what do I write about at the Aleph Blog? I write about a lot of things. That’s a strength, and a weakness. A weakness, because not everyone cares about a lot of things and if I shift to cover an area that is unusual, readers may not care.
It’s a strength, in the same sense that most of the best athletes could do well at a wide number of games. I follow a wide number of themes in the financial markets and economics. I like to think that I bring more perspective to a wide umber of issues because:
- I have been trained in neoclassical economic theory, and I reject it.
- I have been trained in modern portfolio theory, and I reject it.
- I’ve worked in most areas of the financial markets, and have seen similar events happen in different markets.
- I have quantitative skills, but I have spent a lot of time of economic history.
- Having practiced as an actuary, I have additional skills analyzing liability structures, which are underanalyzed.
My perspective is different. I don’t expect you to agree with me, because some of my views are “out there,” and I know that when I write it. I sometimes write things knowing that there is no way that these will be adopted, absent major changes to society. I write those, knowing that radical change is not impossible, and when change happens, they will need sensible guidelines.
So what have I written about? From my categories:
I write about economics, stocks and bonds. That’s me. I want to describe what is going on and how it affects those holding fixed claims (bonds), and variable claims (stocks).
After that, I write about portfolio management and value investing — how do we manage the assets that we own?
The next group is the guts of the market: how does government and Fed policy affect things? How do insurance, real estate, and derivatives affect our lives?
Beyond those, I write about many things, and I appreciate that you read me. Your time is valuable; thanks for reading me.
My greatest fear when starting up my firm was that after having a great 10-year run with my own assets (and for an employer), that I would go cold when I started managing assets for others. That is what has happened, with underperformance of 9%+ versus the S&P 500 over the last 16 months. This is my worst sustained performance over the last 20 years.
I don’t think my methods are poor, nor am I planning on changing. Every investment method goes through dry times; I have to live through this.
So what will I do? I will persist in the strategies that have done so well for me over the last 20 years. I will continue to do value investing.
I don’t know that it will work, but I think it will. Value investing is the reliable weak signal amid a lot of investment noise.
And so I act and invest. My time is coming, and thanks for reading me.