Blogger Profile

Ben Carlson

Blog Info

A Wealth of Common Sense
Start Year:

Blogger Bio

Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
Life stage:
DIK (Dual Income, Kids)

(Is this your profile page? Update your info here. To update your icon, go to gravatar.com.)

Latest Blog Posts

Fargo is in the conversation for the best show on TV right now. I just finished up with the third season which, like the first two seasons, had a great combination of suspense, dark humor, crime, solid characters and a heavy dose of Minnesota accents. In one of the best scenes in the season finale Nikki Swango, a fugitive on the run with a score to settle and a sniper rifle ...
Posted: Jun 25 2017 @ 2:13 PM
The technology bubble during the late-1990s will likely go down as one of the most difficult market environments ever for fundamental investors. Growth strategies absolutely crushed value strategies and anything invested outside of technology or internet companies appeared foolish. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway stock was down nearly 20% in 1999 while the Nasdaq zoomed higher by nearly 90%. The rolling three-y... ...
Posted: Jun 22 2017 @ 8:37 PM
Investors have been warned about overvalued markets basically since the start of this stock market recovery. Some people are scared of above average valuations. Others simply choose to ignore them. And still others use them as scare tactics to sell financial product or newsletters. While you can’t control what the current market valuations are you can control what you will do about them. Here’s a piece I wrote... ...
Posted: Jun 21 2017 @ 12:47 PM
Predicting when a bull market will come to an end is a fool’s errand because no one can forecast with any certainty the timing of a shift in investor emotions or preferences. There have been hundreds of legitimate reasons given over the past few years for the reason the bull market is going to come to an end but markets don’t always care about reasoning. In the short-to-intermediate-term markets will ...
Posted: Jun 21 2017 @ 12:45 PM
I’ve spent a good chunk of my career looking at various funds, strategies, presentations, pitch books and sales pitches from money managers. While this experience has come from all sorts of different fund structures, asset classes and styles, there are many similarities between the narratives when you listen to enough of these pitches. Every firm, portfolio manager or marketing person would like to believe that the... ...
Posted: Jun 20 2017 @ 2:07 PM
The financial industry gets a bad rap. It seems very few people trust “Wall Street” anymore following the financial crisis. I get it. Much of it is deserved for greedy behavior and a lack of self-awareness about the treatment of clients. But many of the problems in the investment world stem from poorly aligned incentives and ingrained organizational cultures. It’s not all bad actors. Most of the people ... ...
Posted: Jun 19 2017 @ 8:25 PM
The average size of an NFL lineman in the 1960s was close to six feet tall and 250 pounds. Today the average NFL lineman is over six feet five inches and well over 310 pounds. There are likely a number of reasons for this huge increase over time — better workout programs, more informed diets and nutritionists and bigger incentives to play professionally. It’s also true that people are simply getting larger ...
Posted: Jun 18 2017 @ 10:40 PM
I wrote a piece for Bloomberg earlier this week about preparing in advance for the end of the bull market. I received an email from a reader who took umbrage with the fact that I said the bull market is now 8 years old. He made the case that the bull market didn’t really start until we breached the previous market highs (which didn’t occur until 2013). I’m sure you could ...
Posted: Jun 15 2017 @ 10:15 PM
Investors are increasingly worried about geopolitical crises but very few have taken the time to understand how the markets typically react when these things go down. The reactions to wars, political malfeasance, or scandals are not always what you would think based on the headlines. In this piece I wrote for Bloomberg I look back on how the markets have reacted to prior periods of turmoil. The results may surprise ...
Posted: Jun 14 2017 @ 2:29 PM
Most of the well-known consumer technology stocks saw big losses last Friday, which continued yesterday in what some are calling the “tech wreck.” A two-day sell-off is jumping the gun just a bit in terms of coming up with labels but here are the losses in Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google on Friday and Monday: Losses are always painful but to put things into perspective, see the year-to-date gains ... ...
Posted: Jun 13 2017 @ 2:30 PM


"This is one of the best, most informative personal finance web sites I've ever seen"

-- Daffy Duck, DaffyIsSoTaffy.com

"This guy clearly knows his shit; with every post, I feel like he's got my back as one of those "savers", and his web site is pretty damn cool, too"

-- Scuba Steve, MyScubaGearIsSoWet.com

Leave a Comment

To leave a comment about this blog, fill out the following form.