Category Archives for "Critical Thinking Skills"

The Greater Fool Theory


One of my favorite TV shows in recent years is HBO’s The Newsroom. The guy who writes the show, Aaron Sorkin, is known for fast-paced, snappy dialog. In the final episode of season 1, economics reporter Sloan Sabbith (played by the lovely and talented Olivia Munn) tells her boss, anchorman Will McAvoy (played by Jeff Daniels): […]

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Critical Thinking Skill #3 – The Time Value of Money

time value money

The Time Value of Money is one of the first skills a new investor must learn. Simply put, it answers the question “What is the value to me today, of a dollar that I expect to receive at some point in the future?” This article will walk you through the process of answering that question. […]

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Characteristics of highly accomplished investors


What do Warren Buffett, George Soros, Carl Icahn, Ray Dalio, Abigail Johnson, James Simons, Thomas Peterffy, Ron Perelman, and Steve Cohen all have in common? They are all highly accomplished investors. And they make up 9 out of the 10 richest Americans, according to Forbes, Inc. Introduction The fact that 9 out of the 10 […]

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How to Increase Your Odds of Winning at the Investment Game

How to Increase Your Odds of Winning at the Investment Game Summary Stock market strategy can be understood using game theory. The players in this game have widely different skill sets. Profits flow from low-skilled players to those with better skills. Every investor has a strategy, even if that strategy is “I just go by […]

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Are You Paying For Useless Advice?

smart beta wizard

Are you paying for useless advice? False experts, the “Hot-Hand Fallacy”, and the “Law of Small Numbers.” Can people be fooled into believing in a non-existent expert? If so, will they then pay for what can only be described as useless advice about future chance events? The answer is yes, and this type of misjudgment […]

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Investment Advice: What’s Real and What’s For Sale?

stp vasoline from purple

Lyrics from the song “Vasoline” by STP: One time a thing occurred to me What’s real and what’s for sale? Search for things that you can’t see Going blind, out of reach Somewhere in the vasoline Why am I quoting lyrics from a song by Stone Temple Pilots in an article about investment advice? Because […]

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ZenInvestor Core Beliefs – Key Investing Concepts


There are certain concepts and principles that I believe are absolutely critical for successful investing. I call them Beliefs because I’ve learned them from personal experience – first as a securities analyst, then as a professional trader, and finally as a portfolio manager. These are the ideas that I strongly believe will empower you to […]

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Early Winners & Losers in the First Month of Trump

Barron's cover

What can the early winners and losers in the stock market tell us about the possible impact of a Trump administration on businesses and the economy in 2017? There are some clear patterns emerging in the price action of certain sectors and subsectors of the market. There are some clear winners and losers. It’s too […]

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What Kind of Investor Are You?


Over the course of my 35 years as a trader, portfolio manager, and personal investing coach, I’ve worked with thousands of investors. I’ve trained them, advised them, and coached them. I’ve observed a few common traits that investors share, which allows me to categorize them into different investor types. What follows is a summary of […]

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What a Trump Presidency Might Mean for the Stock Market

eisenhower stock market

Every four years, investors try to anticipate what the outcome of the presidential race will mean for the stock market and their portfolios. This topic is contentious and infused with partisan bias. I’ll provide some useful context for those heated discussions, for your investment plans, or for casual cocktail party fodder. The question at hand […]

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