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John Osbon's posts

Weekly Articles by Osbon Capital Management:

Stalemate Investing, Positively

January and Onward

Jan 15, 2020 - John Osbon ( 4 mins to read)

Most years start the same way. Investors look closely at the price action during the first day, week or month of the new year. No matter which way investments go, price action in the first month is a poor indicator of future returns. Then there are politics, threats of violence around the world, and earnings reports to consider. Declaring an investing stalemate and doing nothing or going to cas...

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Get State Owned Enterprises Out of Emerging Markets

Dec 31, 2019 - John Osbon ( 4 mins to read)

Emerging markets are an important asset class that include major countries with massive populations like China and India. Emerging market investments have been accessible for decades, but they’ve often included state-owned enterprise (SOE) holdings — whether you’ve wanted them or not. Maybe you didn’t. State Owned Enterprises are notoriously inefficient, often conflicted and sometimes even over...

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Individual Securities Vs. Indexes: Investing’s biggest competition

Dec 24, 2019 - John Osbon ( 4 mins to read)

Nothing is more central to our economy than competition. Competition rewards innovation, smart investments and cost control. We see competition between local restaurants and between global giants like Amazon and FedEx. We also see — and benefit from — competition between divergent ideas and business methods. In the investment world, the competition between stock pickers and indexers has been ra...

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Small Stocks for Big Gains

Dec 10, 2019 - John Osbon ( 6 mins to read)

As we enter the final month of the final year of the decade, investors face the eternal question: how much should I have in stocks at this point? As a start on that answer, we must acknowledge that thinking about stocks as one asset class really is an oversimplification. I suggest we look first at a subset of the stock universe that is generally considered the highest potential return element o...

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Demographics Are Fundamental To Investing

Check the basics on the people behind your portfolio

Nov 20, 2019 - John Osbon ( 5 mins to read)

Andy Kessler wrote a great WSJ article on Monday about China and demographics, called “Old Age Will Put China To Rest”. It made me remember how excited we were at Morgan Stanley 35 years ago when we started to collect demographic data outside the United States. Today, in 2019, our access to demographic data has grown exponentially. It's important we use it. Better Data Access Demographic data...

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Atomic Habits for Investors

Bit by Bit by Bit

Nov 12, 2019 - John Osbon ( 5 mins to read)

I read James Clear’s Atomic Habits last week. It got me thinking about how our performance as investors can be greatly affected by our habits — both our ability to adopt (and sustain) good ones and to break bad ones. Clear’s premise is very compelling; he suggests when we can get down to the atomic level in our thoughts and actions, we can control our habits and produce the results we desire. S...

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When You Are Acquired: The Three R’s To Consider

Nov 6, 2019 - John Osbon ( 4 mins to read)

More than 200 Massachusetts companies have been acquired so far this year. Almost all were privately held. When you are acquired, it’s not just a life-changing liquidity event, it’s validation of your business model and a hard-earned reward for your ideas and long hours. In the big deal, you’ll receive cash, stock and/or incentives to continue working. Then what? Based on my 30 years working wi...

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The Go-To-Market Economy

Go-To-Market companies keep our economy growing

Oct 30, 2019 - John Osbon ( 7 mins to read)

What exactly is a go-to-market (GTM) company? A GTM company is intensely focused on creating new and innovative strategies to attract new customers. Rather than building new technology or new service models these companies don’t have to have the latest and greatest offering to attract new business. In order to be viable, they have to have a reasonable path to profitability, typically by achievi...

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Consensus Is Rare

Disagreement is essential for functional markets

Oct 15, 2019 - John Osbon ( 5 mins to read)

It’s difficult to get a broad idea across in one headline. When it is done in the investment media, the bias almost always skews negative, mostly for dramatic effect. If all indicators were bad, everyone would want to sell and there would be no buyers. With positive consensus, on the other hand, there would be no sellers. A broad and balanced take on the market, with both positives and negative...

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