Is Adaptability The Most Important Skill You Can Acquire?

My latest post at Alpha Baskets looks at the importance of adaptability in investing and life as inspired by our trip to Glacier which was altered slightly because of the Reynolds Creek Fire. From the post; Adapting to the unexpected can become more difficult as people get older, there are studies that indicate we take more risks (not just with investing) when we are younger. Where investing is concerned someone who is 55 or 60 has less time to recover from a catastrophic investment loss than someone who is 30 or 35. Please click through to read the entire post. We are headed back to Prescott tonight after a great week in Montana that included lots of natural park stuff, lots of hiking and lots of firehouse visits, we even saw a black bear at the National Bison Reserve. On the road just before Many Glacier.   Best I could do with the bear picture even with Instagram.   Ladder truck from Big Fork Fire.   Visited the University of Montana in...

Markets Wilt In Summer Heat

The weekly Market Update is posted and includes the following; While we are hesitant to believe that everything the market does can be accurately explained (explanation fallacy) we would note that oil did drop 6% for the week for its first weekly close below $50 since April. Some of this decline could be attributed to concerns about growth although markets may not fully know what to expect from Iran and the extent of how much they will actually be able to engage the global market. Much was also made of the large and ongoing decline in gold; down 4% on the week. Industrial commodities have also been taken down this year. Barron’s reports that zinc has fallen 10% this year while copper has fallen 16% and nickel is down 25%. Please click through to read the entire post. On a personal note we are just finishing up a trip to Glacier National Park. The scenery is stunning. It can be a little difficult to get to but there is a lot to see, a lot of hikes, the towns in this part of Montana are pretty neat too. While we were here a fire broke out in the park which I will cover in a post that will publish later today or tomorrow. The first picture is a panoramic at Many Glacier.   Lookout over Two Medicine.   Finally (for now) Lake...

Jason Zweig Is Wrong About Gold

My latest for Alpha Baskets looks at a recent post from Jason Zweig about gold that I think misses one key reason to own gold which is its continued low to negative correlation to equities. From the post; Back in 2010 and 2011 there were many articles averring for a 20-25% weighting in gold which made the Harry Browne Permanent Portfolio a very popular discussion point. While I have always found the Browne portfolio intriguing I was very consistent in saying what a terrible idea that much to gold would be. I believe the popularity to suggest 25% was a form of recency bias attached to how well gold was doing back then and then extrapolating that forward. I don’t think saying “you should not own any gold” after years of it doing poorly is that different from saying you should back up the truck after years of doing very well. Please click through to read the entire post. We are in Whitefish, MT to go to Glacier National Park. There is currently a wildfire in the eastern part of the park which may effect our trip but we’ll make the best of it. The picture is downtown...

Greece Is In Troub…Oh Wait, No It’s Not

This week’s Market Update is posted and includes the following; Greece managed to work its way out of its debt predicament by essentially agreeing to austere measures that were previously off the table as far as they were concerned, will get bailed out on its debt and will get additional funding as needed. This is a simplification of what transpired for economy of words but the event as it has played out thus far is similar to many past events where perceptions of uncertainty were high with many dire forecasts only to have it resolve much quieter than expected. Please click through to read the entire...

Simple Is Better

My latest for Alpha Baskets looks at simplifying retirement planning and orienting to the right mind set for how to succeed in terms of either having enough money when you need it or to better adapt if you come up short. From the post; Whatever your plan is or whatever you want to do, what happens if your plan changes for some reason beyond your control or because you simply want to make a change. If you don’t have enough yet to retire at 55 but do lose that high paying job you will figure it out and make due one way or another because you have to so what is on the table is how difficult this circumstance would be. If your number for 65 is $1 million and you have $810,000 at 55 then you’re really not in a terrible situation. You may not be where you want to be but you’re going to have food on your table and a roof over your head. Please click through to read the entire post. Finally an update on Pips the dog that my wife and I took to Washington to Conservation Canines. For anyone new, Pips was too hyper to be a pet so Joellyn found this program that need hyper dogs (really hyper, a type of hyper that is very rare) and Pips was an immediate success and this article is just the latest one chronicling his adventures. The picture is of Pips on his way to Conservation Canines back in 2012, he wanted to stop and look at Mount...