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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3 Reasons to ignore the fuss over Facebook

I think it’s safe to say there’s never been an initial public offering (IPO) quite like Facebook’s. The pre-IPO excitement and buzz were quickly replaced by post-IPO angst and accusations. The IPO’s price debacle – I’m calling it Faceplant – has revealed many of the flaws and risks inherent in the IPO game. There are plenty of upset investors calling…

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But will it last?

A sizable retirement portfolio doesn’t just happen. Building one requires effort, knowledge, and resolve. It typically takes decades of disciplined savings, sensible asset allocation, and the courage to hang in there when markets get dicey. And even then the work’s not done. Because after amassing a nest egg, the big question looms: How long will it last?

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Washington Summit Part Two

I decided to fly to Washington, DC, for one day last week for Bloomberg’s Washington Summit. I went for three reasons: density, depth, and debate.  Three Congressmen, three Nobel prize winners, one Cabinet member, and a gaggle of politicos, entrepreneurs, and regulators – all in one place, in one day!  There’s no substitute for an onsite question and answer format. I expected…

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Greenspan on Markets

Going to Washington, DC, which is what I did earlier this week for the Bloomberg Washington Summit, is like going to another galaxy. In the DC solar system, politicians, policy makers, influence peddlers, and appointees seem to orbit around each other, each seeking to exert more gravitational pull than the next. You could see, for example, the effect of a planetary…

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Invest in your kids

529 plans, also known as “qualified tuition plans” have been available since 2001 and are designed to encourage saving for higher education through tax deferral. In my opinion, they are one of the sweetest deals around.  It’s no wonder 529s have grown to total more than $144 billion. Here are some client comments about 529s, and why they use them.

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Keep what you make

No one likes to think about how much money goes to the taxman, but there’s no avoiding these thoughts at this time of year. There are many elaborate ways to reduce tax liabilities. Here’s one simple one that has worked like clockwork for 19 years in a row, with essentially no effort required on the part of investors.

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Irony alert: Jim Cramer warns investors to ignore noise

A few weeks back the CNBC web site had a clip from Jim Cramer’s frenetic show Mad Money, titled: “Cramer: Filter out the noise!” Donning noise-cancelling headphones for dramatic effect, the animated market commentator counseled investors not to be scared off by certain negative headlines when evaluating stocks to buy. When the noisiest voice in investing advises viewers to ignore…

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“Average” is anything but

Dow Jones & Company has contributed greatly to the world of business and investing, most notably through its gold standard news outlet, The Wall Street Journal. But in 1896 when the company named its flagship market index the “Dow Jones Industrial Average,” it created a considerable can of worms that is still open and wriggling today. The problem is a…

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In ten-year wager, Buffett index leads hedge fund

At the beginning of 2008 Warren Buffett made a very interesting bet. He wagered $1 million (for charity) that a Vanguard index fund that tracks the S&P 500 would outperform a hedge fund of funds assembled by Protégé Partners LLC over a decade timeframe. With six more years to run on the bet, Buffett’s horse is in the lead. Here’s…

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