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Written by Max & John Osbon

Weekly Articles by Osbon Capital Management:

The Perils of Pessimism

Jul 18, 2018 - John Osbon ( 4 mins to read)

In 2010 I got two client inquiries to create an "Armageddon Portfolio," a collection of assets that would hold its value come hell or high water. Recall that we had just pulled out of the financial crisis. Many expected a repeat. For some, pessimism was so high in 2010 there was no expectation for an increase in asset value; just maintaining value was plenty. What happened next?


Local Companies Hitting Home Runs as Fast as Red Sox 

Jul 3, 2018 - John Osbon ( 4 mins to read)

Three local companies were in the national news last week. They are great examples of how local innovators create jobs, opportunity and wealth. By applying new ideas in mature industries, they created two billionaires, revived an old retailer, and established a brand new billion dollar company. I am talking about Wayfair, BJ’s and PillPack.


6 Features I’d Add To The Financial Industry

Algorithms To Live By

Jul 11, 2018 - Max Osbon ( 5 mins to read)

In 2013 Google’s New York office ran an experiment that replaced the normal glass M&M containers with opaque containers labeled “M&Ms." Within seven weeks the 2,000 person office’s consumption of M&M’s had dropped by over 3.1 million calories. Without changing our willpower or discipline, we can control our healthy habits with simple changes to our environment. We should be able to do the same with our financial health by making small tweaks to our financial environment. Here are six M&M/Google…


Four Points To Consider When Holding Debt

Debt can be like fertilizer, or gasoline

Jun 27, 2018 - Max Osbon ( 4 mins to read)

Owing money makes many people queasy, even if their assets far exceed their debts. Holding zero debt eliminates that unease and fosters a sense of robust financial safety. There’s nothing wrong with that approach if it helps you sleep at night. However, businesses use debt as leverage to increase their enterprise value faster than they could or would otherwise. Investors can use debt in the same way. Here are four points to consider when considering when and how to use…


Raise Your Expectations Again

Jun 20, 2018 - John Osbon ( 5 mins to read)

Five years ago I wrote, "Raise Your Expectations." This week I am again urging investors to look at their after-tax investment returns. This is not the number your advisor or fund company may want you to focus on, but it’s really the only one that matters. Because it’s so important to your investment results, let’s revisit the after-tax topic and see why it’s still a problem the financial services industry tends to sweep under the rug.


Inflation Today. Is it CPI or MyPI?

Jun 14, 2018 - Max Osbon ( 5 mins to read)

It’s easy to think of inflation as financial weather – something we must endure and can’t control. While it’s true we can’t individually control the prices that grocers, automakers and landlords charge, we can, and should, control what we spend. We’re all familiar with the Consumer Price Index, or CPI. It tracks the cost of groceries, rent, utilities and other goods and services most of us use. When the cost of men’s sweaters go up, so does the index.


Five Reasons Investing Gets Harder as You Get Wealthier

Jun 7, 2018 - John Osbon ( 4 mins to read)

It’s a paradox of wealth. As your net worth grows and you start thinking investing will finally get easier, you may find the opposite is true. It turns out that choosing the right investments and financial advisors can become more difficult, or at least more confusing, as you amass assets. Here are five reasons why. 1. Instant popularity. With increased net worth comes new attention you may not want, including the relentless sales pitches of brokers, personal bankers, investment advisors…


Trust and Estate Strategies

Boring or not, they’re worth your time

May 30, 2018 - Max Osbon ( 5 mins to read)

However unpleasant or dull the idea might seem, the trust and estate planning process is the true backbone of your family’s wealth. What happens after you’re no longer around to make family wealth decisions will either be based on your clearly documented instructions or the decisions of a judge. Shouldn’t you be the one to decide what happens? Here are some trust and estate items that should not be left to chance. Illiquid assets Stakes in private investments are hard…


What If Amazon Enters The Asset Management Business This Year

Crazy or Crazy Smart?

May 24, 2018 - John Osbon ( 4 mins to read)

Amazon’s entry is not a joke and it could happen soon according to a Vanguard executive who was in town last week for the Vanguard investment confab. Not only that, a number of prominent retailers could launch wealth management offerings as financial advice is commoditized and scaled even further to reach the smallest investor. Costco and Walmart come to mind. The executive acknowledged that Vanguard is actively planning to compete with technology-driven companies that have never been in wealth management.…