Insights on markets, emergent trends, history, innovation, risk management, global economics, strategy, policy, and other topics that catch our attention. Inspired by ongoing research, conversations and events. Written and edited by Osbon Capital Management and published every Thursday morning.

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2024 will bring more positive novel surprises. New years always do. In 2023, it was the dramatic acceleration in AI, which touches nearly every industry, and the early stages of an answer to the obesity epidemic with GLP-1s. Here is a list of what’s on our minds going into 2024.

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Beware hysteria of headlines

I definitely agree with the old adage that kids say the darnedest things.  But now and then the financial media give kids a good run for their money. For instance, we’ve all seen headlines like this one: “Dow Plummets 150 Points.”  But is 150 points really a plummet? Let’s look at the stats. With the Dow Jones Industrial Average hovering…

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Indexing Grows Popular with the Pros

When we describe our index boutique approach to investing, people often ask: “If indexing is so great why don’t more professionals do it?” The answer is:  “They do”.  A quick look at high profile, successful professional active managers shows a significant portion of assets going the index route.  See who’s doing it. Elites do it Many endowment funds – the…

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What’s up in Europe?

In two words, cash flow.  And not just in Europe.  Record high dividend payments are a worldwide phenomenon and are occurring despite doom and gloom reports about Europe in the popular media.  Healthy dividend yields on non-US ETFs raise a good question: should you own them? Cash flow is knowable A quick scan of popular ETFs shows how rich some…

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What Motown Means For You and Me

When Detroit defaulted on $19 billion in general obligation bonds, it barely caused a ripple in the $3.7 trillion muni market. But for the unlucky few who held those bonds, it’s a dime-on-the-dollar catastrophe. What’s the lesson we can learn from the Detroit experience? Bond defaults are very rare these days. The wave of big muni defaults that Meredith Whitney…

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Raise Your Expectations

For too long investors have not gotten the full story about their investment returns. What’s missing is one simple, understandable performance number: after-tax return.  It’s time for investors to expect and get this crucial figure: “Here’s your rate of return after taxes.” I expect much of the financial industry cringes at this idea. Let’s say your portfolio starts the year at…

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8 Phrases to Avoid in Investing

It’s easy for a few little words – maybe an idea in your head, or something you overhear at the office – to trigger some truly unfortunate investment decisions. For instance, “It’s a sure thing!” rarely is. This week’s post is a series of eight brief phrases that are better left unsaid and unheard.   “They say gold is going…

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Results From the Wall Street Decathlon 2013

Citius, Altius, Fortius – (Faster, Higher, Stronger) After months of training, we finally had the opportunity to compete at the RBC Decathlon this weekend. It was a blast, and all for a great cause. First things first, a round of applause for the $1.4m raised for Memorial Sloan-Kettering cancer care and the enormously high standard set by the field of…

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Invest like the guy who signs our money

Jack Lew, as Treasury Secretary, signs our dollar bills. In my mind that gives him some credibility in the field of investing. Based on a recent Bloomberg article that described his own personal investments, I give him fairly high marks on his approach. Here’s what we know. Government disclosure documents show that part of Lew’s assets are held in five…

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Cost of College: Realistic Savings for Tuition

We all know college costs a fortune, and many parents would rather leave it at that. But to get a realistic handle on how much you need to save for tuition, you have to get into the real numbers. This terrific calculator developed by Max Osbon will help you quantify the challenge ahead and determine how much to put away…

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