Low volatility means…what exactly?

  • “I’m uncomfortable that people are so comfortable with this. I’m concerned about the very, very low volatility levels. But valuations aren’t super stretched, and companies are cashed up. It’s a new paradigm that’s challenging people’s long-held assumptions.” — James Audiss, wealth manager at Shaw and Partners, quoted by Bloomberg on 6/27/17. He said low stock-market volatility is making investors too complacent. Read more
  • “I don’t think it means anything. There’s no way to determine whether volatility is too high or too low. It just is what it is." — William Schwert, finance professor at the University of Rochester, in a 7/21/17 post on Jason Zweig’s blog. He said long periods of low volatility, such as the one we’re in now, are not uncommon and are not a reason to worry about an impending bear market. Read more

Everything is awesome, or is it?

  • “I’d love to be wrong...But without significant changes, and soon, the economy will drift sideways and down.” — John Mauldin, chairman of Mauldin Economics, on 7/9/17. Read more
  • “When everything is awesome it’s best to prepare for things to be a little less awesome in the future, even at the cost of missing out on some of the gains if investors get still more complacent from here.” — Wall Street Journal columnist James Mackintosh. Read more

No reason to worry

  • “When we worry about our investments, we tend to look at our statements more… We chase performance to our detriment. The net result of this worrying is substantially lower returns. For most of us most of the time, worrying will surely be counterproductive. It will lead to bad decisions and poor returns. So please, remember, worrying is a serious offense.” — Above the Market blogger Robert Seawright on 7/4/17. Read more

When the tide goes out...

  • “Every time stocks fall…you realize very quickly whether or not you have a plan in place...[and] it becomes easier to make short-term decisions with long-term capital.” — A Wealth of Common Sense blogger Ben Carlson on 7/2/17. Read more

Trendy investments are not your friend

  • “Most alternatives are actually an alternative to retirement in my experience.” — The Reformed Broker blogger Josh Brown on 6/23/17, responding to news that millennial investors have 17% of their portfolios allocated to “Alternatives.” Read more

Women out-invest men

  • “If you want to invest like a wonder woman, that means shifting to a long-term focus, saving more up front and giving up on trying to time the market with brilliant trades. Men regard their stock picks as a sport that comes with bragging rights, and that is what gets them into trouble.” — From a Reuters article about a Fidelity study that found women tend to generate better investment returns than men. Read more

Timeless investment wisdom

  • “…you have to keep reminding yourself: We don’t know what’s going to happen with anything, ever... And so it’s inevitable that a certain percentage of our decisions will be wrong... That doesn’t mean you’re an idiot. But it does mean you must focus on how serious the consequences could be if you turn out to be wrong.” — Peter Bernstein, author of Against the Gods, on one of the most important lessons about risk. He was quoted in the Novel Investor blog on 6/30/17. Read more
  • "A strong investment process is easy to describe, challenging to implement, and rewarding when done well." — Jeff Miller, from his Dash of Insight blog on 7/8/17. Read more