The Stingy News Weekly (07/08/2012)
Funds vs. ETFs
"The question is, would these studies arrive at a different conclusion if mutual funds were compared to ETFs instead of uninvestable indexes? It's hard to say definitely without getting into the data, but a rough assessment based on the Vanguard numbers would suggest that Canadian equity ETFs would still be leading an albeit closer race. If a charge for investment advice was factored in, it would be a dead heat, with some categories going to ETFs and others to mutual funds."
The Oracle of Boston
"Mr Klarman is a devotee of 'value investing', a discipline forged by Benjamin Graham and popularised by Warren Buffett, which involves buying stocks at a discount to their intrinsic value. He will look beyond equities for bargains - a good example is Lehman Brothers, which at the end of last year was Baupost's largest distressed-debt position. But in every investment he insists on a 'margin of safety', the buffer between what investors pay for the stock and what they think it is worth, so they are protected against unforeseen events or miscalculations."
Figuring it out
"Before Benjamin Graham started to work on Wall Street, investment analysis was a hit-and-miss affair, focusing more on recent price movements than on the merits of individual companies. Graham, a brilliant mathematician, took the process to a much higher level."
Consumers are hopeless at math
"You walk into a Starbucks and see two deals for a cup of coffee. The first deal offers 33% extra coffee. The second takes 33% off the regular price. What's the better deal?"
Investors prefer ethical ETF
"Of course, what those standards actually are is a complex question, which is why it is important investors make sure they understand the parameters used to make such judgments, Mr. Rothery said. 'I'd caution anyone thinking about buying one of these funds to make sure that your morals and ethics correspond with that of the fund,' he said. 'It can be very tricky.'" [Please ignore the 'financial advisor' reference, it was a holdover from my days working for Dan Hallett. I don't take on private clients these days.]
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