Okay, so I couldn’t think of a good title… but think about it after reading these helpful articles. I’m including some excerpts I like, but I would highly recommend reading each piece in its entirety. Good stuff.
So … I’ve been buying American stocks. This is my personal account I’m talking about, in which I previously owned nothing but United States government bonds. (This description leaves aside my Berkshire Hathaway holdings, which are all committed to philanthropy.) If prices keep looking attractive, my non-Berkshire net worth will soon be 100 percent in United States equities.
A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.
Of course, I don’t remember him ever writing an Op-Ed saying “Be 100% Bonds, I am”, or “Hedge Against The Dollar, I Am”. However, I do agree that if you are going to buy stocks, now is a fine time to buy. I am maintaining my asset allocation, and I’m not even doing it grudgingly – I’m doing it happily.
I will no longer manage money for other people or institutions. I have enough of my own wealth to manage. Some people, who think they have arrived at a reasonable estimate of my net worth, might be surprised that I would call it quits with such a small war chest. That is fine; I am content with my rewards. Moreover, I will let others try to amass nine, ten or eleven figure net worths. Meanwhile, their lives suck. Appointments back to back, booked solid for the next three months, they look forward to their two week vacation in January during which they will likely be glued to their Blackberries or other such devices. What is the point? They will all be forgotten in fifty years anyway. Steve Balmer, Steven Cohen, and Larry Ellison will all be forgotten. I do not understand the legacy thing. Nearly everyone will be forgotten. Give up on leaving your mark. Throw the Blackberry away and enjoy life.
This guy bet big on the collapse on the subprime mortgage market and got great returns the last few years for his small hedge fund. He brings an interesting point of what drives people to super-duper-richness. I would probably do the same as Lahde, but others would keep reaching for more. Buffett’s new biography The Snowball also goes in the family life sacrifices/choices he made. The end part about hemp… is there a hidden correlation?
Jack Bogle: I am a believer in diversification. You buy index funds for stocks, and your bond portion should equal your age. This is how I invest, so I know how little it’s hurt me to have a substantial position in U.S. bonds. I’m in half Treasuries, half corporates.
[...]In recent years, international investing has had a higher correlation with the U.S. market than was traditional. If you invest internationally, you have to invest in foreign companies not as diversifiers but wealth producers. If you like international, get in gradually, maybe with 20% of your portfolio, half in developing markets and half in emerging markets. Europe looks a lot like us, so it’s at least possible you might get a better return out of emerging markets. I don’t invest internationally myself.
Zvi Bodie: [...] And then there is insuring or hedging. That’s when you’ve got a safe asset and to my mind that is Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, or TIPS. One way to protect yourself is to combine a diversified portfolio of risky assets with the safe asset. We teach students that you only need two mutual funds—the risky assets and the safe asset—to generate the entire set of risk-and-reward trade-offs.