Economic Analysis

How Should We Then Invest?

Thoughts from the Frontline

October 12, 2001

Last week we began a series on developing a philosophy of investing. This week we will continue with part 2 as we focus on what types of investments should do well after the economy turns around. Then we look at specific funds you can go into now.

Rules of Engagement

Thoughts from the Frontline

October 4, 2001

Today begins a two part series on a framework for investing when the economy starts to recover. It is my belief that investors need to have a consistent philosophy of investing when choosing investments, otherwise your portfolio looks like the local dog pound: a few lonely purebreds mixed in with a lot of mutts. Some of the mutts end up becoming your best friend, but mostly they just mess up the place.

Ghoulies and Ghosties

Thoughts from the Frontline

September 28, 2001

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

--Old Scottish Prayer

The cheerleaders are proclaiming we have visited The Bottom. Dark as a Texas canyon at midnight, it was scary; full of bears and ferocious short-selling beasts. They are glad we have finally left it behind to enter the green pastures where bulls placidly graze. Now, after the shock of the last few weeks which triggered the sell-off they have been...

How Low Can We Go?

Thoughts from the Frontline

September 21, 2001

Our web site hosting firm has been victim to the recent nimda virus. While we are back up, we are not yet able to post this e-letter. It may be a few days. The cost of this virus world-wide is estimated in the billions. The virus was launched one week later to the minute of the World Trade Towers tragedy. These hackers, when caught, should do serious jail time.

Quest for Certainty

Thoughts from the Frontline

September 14, 2001

The tragic events of this past Tuesday weigh heavily upon us all. Some bear the horror of that event more personally than others. There is an almost universal searching for comfort, answers and action. Everywhere writers and analysts speculate as to what the outcome of these events should be or will be. Others openly share their pain and grief. It is the topic of countless media outlets, as well as the central discussion around dinner tables, offices and bedrooms.

Rather than echo what...

Hope Deferred

Thoughts from the Frontline

September 6, 2001

Finally, I give you an alternative mutual fund for your cash instead of money market returns.

A Glimmer of Hope on the horizon, but not much more. This week's e-letter has been difficult to write. There is a MOUNTAIN of data that I have sifted through, trying to read the future from the combination of facts and trends. Like reading tea leaves in the bottom of the cup and predicting the future, a lot depends upon the bias of the reader.

The most dangerous forecasters are those who tell...

The Friendless Trend

Thoughts from the Frontline

August 29, 2001

This will be an unusual e-letter in that I am going to focus on some recent interviews with well respected investment analysts or economists. I believe you will find them as instructive and thought-provoking as I did. I will quote them directly and then make comments.

The first is from Barron's with Jeremy Grantham. Grantham is a very highly respected money manager and analyst. His firm manages $22 billion. There are many in the investment industry who hold Grantham in almost guru status....

Dear Chairman Greenspan - Part Deux

Thoughts from the Frontline

August 24, 2001

Last December I wrote you a letter telling you that those of us who fly in economy class were worried about a bumpy landing. We kept hearing about a soft landing, but the ride was getting rough. The passengers back here in coach class are getting real nervous. Now, we would just as soon forget about attempting to land. We would rather see the plane start to take off again.

Pipeline Economics

Thoughts from the Frontline

August 17, 2001

This is a slightly longer than normal e-letter. I have put a lot of thought into this week's letter, and lay out a case as to why we are at a very critical juncture. Serious investing requires serious study. Simply making predictions with no rationale is useless and potentially harmful. In this issue, I make more than a few predictions. This should be a very useful letter for investors. I hope you find it helpful.

The Cisco Hustle

Thoughts from the Frontline

August 10, 2001

First off, I want to stop the rumors that I had anything to do with the wording in this week's release of the Beige Book from the Fed. They used words like: "slow growth", "sluggish", "below expectations", "weak demand", "loosening labor markets" and "pronounced reductions in consumer borrowing". The fact that I have been writing the above for months is mere coincidence. Or it may be due to the fact that even the Fed has to recognize the problems.