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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Festival of Black Swans

Last week, Bloomberg LP convened its first Money Managers Conference in Boston to explore the topic: Preparing for the Next Black Swans. The conference brought together 25 professional money managers before an audience of investment professionals and journalists (and a live stream to 300,000 terminals) to consider “strategies should the unthinkable happen.”  Last week I wrote about my own panel…

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John Osbon to speak at The Bloomberg Money Manager Conference

John Osbon of Osbon Capital will be a panelist at The Bloomberg Money Managers Conference in Boston on June 14. The conference, titled “Preparing for the Next Black Swans,” focuses on the impact of major unexpected events that can send markets reeling. The conference brings together top money managers for a candid exchange of ideas on future Black Swans. What’s…

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Five reasons why investing gets harder as you get wealthier

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.

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Buffett bets on an index – third year update

If you enjoy the speed and excitement of slot machines or blackjack, this is not the wager for you: Warren Buffett bet that the unmanaged S&P 500 would beat actively managed hedge funds over a ten year period. The bet launched at the beginning of 2008, and we now have updated results for the first three years.

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Inflation and the Billion Prices Project

Inflation really isn’t much of a factor these days, unless you drive a car, eat food, buy health insurance, fly for business, or send your kids to college. According to the Fed in late April, “indicators are subdued and somewhat below the levels” of the Fed’s price stability mandate. Current indicators may seem subdued to Mr. Bernanke, but even modest…

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Breaking the Money Market Buck

When the Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Sheila Bair says money markets funds are “highly unstable in a crisis” it gets your attention.  At the same May 5th meeting, former Fed chief Paul Volcker called for a “floating share price” for money market funds as the simplest solution. Is the longstanding one dollar per share value of money…

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John Tierney and the end of tax-free bonds

Many Boston locals know John Tierney, our popular Democratic Congressman representing Massachusetts’s 6th District who was recently re-elected for the eighth time.  Congressman Tierney is introducing a bill to make all municipal bonds taxable – proposing to demolish this last tax haven for the rich.  This bill is no black swan, a highly unexpected, exceptional event that comes out of…

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Like ducks in the desert

A steady current of surprise and unease has been running through the popular financial press and blogosphere during the long current bull run for US stocks. Many pundits seem confused and worried, like ducks in the desert, that something is seriously wrong. The S&P 500 is now up 100% since the bad old days two years ago. And the benchmark…

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Are you overpaying?

The headline, “Fund industry overpaid by $1,300 billion” caught my eye in the Financial Times on April 3rd.  Hmmm, somebody finally put a number on it.  Here’s what FT reported based on a survey by the IBM Institute of Business Value regarding the fund management industry. Value destruction in 3 easy pieces The IBM survey of 2600 major users of…

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