Thoughts From the Frontline, July 2004

The Endgame For Mutual Funds

July 30, 2004

This week we are going to look at one aspect of the future of investing. A few weeks ago, I was with good friend Doug Fabian in LA. I spent a session or two on his weekend radio show and then we went out to dinner. Not surprisingly, we began to compare notes on investing. While I generally spend my time focused on the hedge fund world, Doug is a true expert on mutual funds.

I wrote in my book that I think the day will come when hedge funds will be available to the public and as an industry...

Recession Watch

July 23, 2004

There are always a few dark clouds that determined bears can find, even in the best of times, albeit they may be no bigger than a man's hand. Most of the time, they dissipate into the wind, leaving nothing but ulcers for the worry warts in their place. It's just no fun listening to Jeremiahs in the summer (or at any other time, for that matter).

But sometimes, these clouds grow, and like Elijah running to Jezreel for cover, investors might be wise to do the same. This week we survey the...

The China Productivity Miracle

July 16, 2004

This week we look at China with a few thoughts that are not part of the conventional wisdom, and throw in a comment or two on global money growth, employment problems in the third quarter, and a comment on the presidential race.

Last Sunday morning,I was sitting in my living room talking with the host of a radio show called the Smart Investor in Phoenix, and he asked if I had seen the Sunday New York Times, as they had recommended Bull's Eye Investing as "serious summer reading." After...

How to Recognize a Housing Bubble

July 9, 2004

Today we take a final look at the housing market. Are we in a bubble or is it merely a period of overheated prices which will cool off? Is it the right time to buy (or sell) a home? If there is a bubble, how would we spot it?

A little full disclosure. Thinking about the housing markets for the past few weeks has been somewhat more than an academic exercise. I sold my last home a little more than four years ago, for family reasons unrelated to valuations or markets (time to downsize). I...

The Real Culprit for High Home Prices

July 2, 2004

This week we once again look at the US housing market. We explore what may be the prime contributor to spiraling home prices. (I bet this once catches 95% of you by surprise, but in hindsight, you will all nod and think to yourself that is what you suspected all along, just as I did.) We look at the relationship between income and housing prices, and even find a new ratio to suggest when it is a good time to buy homes. It will make for interesting reading.

But before we delve too deep into...