What I write and why I write it

At Osbon Capital, we continuously seek to improve every aspect of the business. Most recently we’ve been reworking our web site to bring our index-only philosophy to the fore and make our extensive library of articles easier to use and peruse.

I put a lot of energy into the articles and blog posts found at osboncapital.com. Talk may be cheap and fleeting, but writing lasts. A well-written article can inform, clarify, educate, motivate, entertain and help you see familiar facts or ideas in a new light.

The words matter

In the investment management business I think it is absolutely essential to write regularly and clearly, and to leave a trail of your thoughts.

I am not talking about the writing that is mass-produced by Wall Street for mass consumption. That doesn’t count. Those people don’t know who you are, or what’s important to you. That writing is often designed only to get headlines or media attention, or to sell the firm and its products. In my view, it’s the exact opposite of what investors need most – writing that is unbiased, insightful, and goal- (rather than product-) oriented.

I am talking about the writing of your specific investment advisor or portfolio manager, the custodian of your present and future wealth. What is he or she saying, and doing, and why?  Let’s see it in writing.

The daily drivel

So much investment information, or what tries to pass for it, is ephemeral, created to expire into vapor at the end of the news day.  Certainly the media present it that way, blasting and shouting from all available channels – print, electronic, and social. The next day, there’s more of the same, just as disposable but presented as urgent and all-important.

Writing is different.  It’s permanent.  It’s meant to be visited, discussed, used, and re-used.  For investment managers, it is an inescapable record of one’s beliefs, right on wrong.  You can’t hide from your writing.

It’s important that investors truly understand their advisors – not just their investment philosophies, but also the tools they use, the data that guides their efforts, and the business model under which they operate. I see writing as a badge of who you are. Through it, you state your beliefs, take stands, defend positions and define principles.

As you read the content on the web site, I hope these elements come through loud and clear as they capture the essence of Osbon Capital.

Top articles for bottom line impact

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out our new Top Articles page. This is where all of our most popular articles end up. Here are a few highlights:

The rarity of an “average” year – We think of about 7-9 percent return as average for the S&P 500, but actual returns vary widely year to year. What’s that volatility mean for investors trying to build a portfolio?

Five reasons why investing gets harder as you get wealthier – 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.

Tortoise 1, Hare 0 – When a simple bond index fund soundly beats the most famous bond fund manager in the industry, the dubious value of punditry becomes clear.

Fees: A portfolio’s silent killer – What are a couple dozen basis points among friends? Well, over the lifetime of your portfolio it could be the difference between night and day.

Will the market go up or down tomorrow? – Ah, if we could only know the answer. This brief article looks at the odds of guessing right.


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This article may include forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements (including words such as “believe,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “may,” “will,” “should,” and “expect”). Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Various factors could cause actual results or performance to differ materially from those discussed in such forward-looking statements.

Nothing in this article is intended to be or should be construed as individualized investment advice. All content is of a general nature. Individual investors should consult their investment adviser, accountant, and/or attorney for specifically tailored advice.

Any references to third-party data or opinions are listed for informational purposes only and have not been verified for accuracy by the Adviser. Adviser does not endorse the statements, services or performance of any third-party vendor without specifically assessing the suitability of a third-party to a client’s or a prospective client’s needs and objectives.

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