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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Busting the correlation myth

When securities move in the same direction at the same time, that’s called correlation. If all stocks are highly correlated it doesn’t really matter what you own; all stocks rise or fall on the same fickle tide. “Everything moves together,” many complain. This is a common perception these days, but is it supported by the facts? Has over-correlation killed the…

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Planning over punditry

It’s always a pleasure to read Blackstone Vice Chairman Byron Wien’s annual 10 Surprises list.  For breadth, open-mindedness, and contrarian thinking, Byron’s list, published since 1986, can’t be beat.  But should you invest your money this way?  Is Byron’s list, and those of less talented pundits, a reliable source of investment management guidance?  I say no, and here’s why.

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The Whole, and the Parts

The investment returns for 2011 are now officially in. It was a good year for many asset classes, like bonds, gold, and domestic stocks.  For others, like emerging markets, it was straight down.  I am happy to report that the four of the largest index positions at Osbon Capital – DIA, GLD, TIP, and VNQ – had positive returns ranging…

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Five lads a-laughing

It’s been a great investment year for some, awful for others, and mixed for many.  Time for a break, I say.  As our last piece for 2011 I present my favorite five authors who can just make me laugh. It’s a diverse lot, but they all have one thing in common; they resist the temptation to take the world and…

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Service, please. Please!

Let’s be honest. In many businesses, customer service is dead or dying. Stores without salespeople. Telephone “help” lines with endless prompts to nowhere. Call center reps who have no idea who you are, what you need, or how to help. In too many cases, service has become a casualty of indiscriminant cost cutting or just poor business strategy. When it…

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Your investment fitness checklist for 2012

Yes, it’s that time of year again. A time for lists – Christmas, New Year’s resolutions, among others. Add one more: your 2012 investment fitness checklist. If you want to wake up on New Years Day knowing that your portfolio is already at work just the way you would like it to be, use this checklist as your guide.

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Babson’s brilliant financial course

I was privileged earlier this week to be a guest lecturer in Professor Erik Sirri’s class at the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College. Professor Sirri is unique, to my knowledge, in offering a course called Personal Financial Management for first-year MBAs at top schools.  Wow, do I wish that course were offered back in the day…

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The Armageddon portfolio

Two clients have recently requested an Armageddon portfolio from Osbon Capital, a portfolio designed to withstand and possibly even profit from horrible events yet to occur. Why would anyone want such a portfolio, and what does it look like?

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Giving large

Walk a mile in these shoes Imagine that you run a business where operating revenue is less than half of what you spend. Imagine that the demand for your product is growing as your income is shrinking.  Envision that costs are rising, your employee base is overworked and underpaid, and your business model sometimes includes giving away your product or service…

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