Value Investing The Right Way: Four Keys To Buying a Stock

For the past twenty years, we have been perfecting the science of picking stocks. Since the early days of our firm, our methodology has improved dramatically and continues to do so every year. Like every investor, when we first started in this industry we searched and searched for the one “system” that would produce the results we were looking for. The easier this system, the better for us and our clients. In our attempt to find a single system, we learned one thing: there is no easy, simple, or ultimate system. In fact, we learned that the work that needed to be done to analyze a stock was long and exhausting . . . but well worth it. What we have deduced, however, is that there are four keys every stock investment should have. We did not invent these four things. They are core principles that investors, including Warren Buffett,
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Categories: Markets and Strategy.

The BIG Fallacy: ”No one cares about your money more than you do.”

You’ve all heard it. It’s been said over and over by anyone trying to sell you a trading service, software, newsletter, or anything similar: “no one cares about your money more than you do, so sign up today!” However, if there is one thing that over fifteen years of working with people has taught me it’s this: that phrase couldn’t be further from the truth! Let me explain. For 10 years, I worked for the biggest and best investor education company in the world today. Early in my career with that company, I was the one that used to utter that same phrase to anybody and everybody. I honestly thought it was true…until I saw what people actually did with their own money. Below are a few examples of what I’ve seen people do with their own money. Destroy their chances of a retirement because of some option or stock
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Categories: Personal Finance.

The Next Apocalypse: Or What The Media Wants You to Believe

This month’s market commentary video is chalk full of fun topics at the top of everyone’s mind. Like: After this bull run is the market cheap or expensive? Should I invest now or hold back? How do I deal with the (next) apocalypse the media is touting? As always we have an Iron Gate perspective that I believe you’ll appreciate. Enjoy the video. What We’re Reading You’re not as good an Investor as you think you are: In celebration of the Bull Market’s 8th birthday, one of our favorite writers, Jason Zweig, discusses how psychology can wreak havoc on investors as they try to go at it alone. The Downfall of the Popular IPO: With Snapchat going public this week, we’ve heard a TON about IPOs. In fact, I was on the ski lift and the ski instructor started talking about Snap’s IPO! Uh oh! Here’s a great article by
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Categories: Market Commentary, Markets, and Strategy.

Buffett’s Hedge Fund Bet: How Iron Gate Compares

Every spring, Warren Buffett releases his annual letter to shareholders. The wisdom that Warren Buffett gives, and the simple way he gives it, has made his annual letter one of the most widely read documents dealing with investing and the markets. At Iron Gate Global, it’s certainly one of our favorite annual letters, and this year was no exception. Proper capital allocation, the good and the bad about companies buying back shares, how great America as a country is, and the importance of low-fees were among the several topics Buffett discussed this year. However, one topic that stood out to me was his update to the big Buffett bet. In Buffett’s own words, he describes the bet: In Berkshire’s 2005 annual report, I argued that active investment management by professionals – in aggregate – would over a period of years underperform the returns achieved by rank amateurs who simply sat
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Categories: Markets and Strategy.

The Major Portfolio Threat Hiding In Plain Sight Of Most Investors

Over the last few months, I have reviewed over a dozen portfolios for individuals who weren’t clients but needed more clarity on their current portfolio. Within thirty minutes of looking at their portfolio, we—analysts at my firm and I— can determine the overall risk and forecasted return on a portfolio. Though I never wish to speak ill of other advisors, I have consistently seen one key mistake in people’s portfolios that is losing them far too much and giving them far too little. When we analyze a portfolio, we do this by stress testing the portfolio against bullish and bearish markets, analyzing its sensitivity to interest rates, and reviewing the expenses. The last of these, expenses, are what is driving me insane (and what I mentioned in the last paragraph)! Let me explain. There are three types of expenses that most people incur: An Advisor Fee. This is the fee
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Categories: Personal Finance.

Putting the Bull Market Into Perspective

The stories are starting to appear in the press again. We read and hear them every time the market makes a bullish (upward) move. They all sound similar and usually have the phrase “the market is moving too far too fast,” or “this is the longest bull market in history; it can’t last.” To anyone saying or thinking something similar, it’s to you that we are writing this week’s newsletter. Recently, we read an article called “Anatomy of a Bull Market” by Just Sibears. While you can, and should, read his article, we will summarize a few key points that we would like our readers to know. BULL MARKETS Regarding the current bull market, which started in March of 2009: This is currently the 7th longest bull market and 6th strongest in history. For it to become the longest in stock market history, it will need to continue through the
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Categories: Markets.

Market Commentary: Inaugural Year Lessons and What You Should Be Doing

It’s once again time for our monthly Market Commentary and I am discussing three things that anyone with any money invested anywhere should be considering. They are: Lessons learned from the transition of Presidential power as it affects the markets; The way to approach hitting the eighth year of a bull market; and What to expect this year along with the “must dos” for any investor right now I know there are all kinds of expectations for the market in the coming year. We hope you’ll approach this year as any: with deliberate, probability-based decision making that removes emotion and optimizes your potential. What We’re Reading Buffett Bought $12 Billion of Stock From Election Through Friday. We LOVE this story. It’s the perfect example of not letting politics get in the way of sound investing. We discuss this more in the market commentary video. What a great example for us
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Categories: Market Commentary, Markets, and Strategy.

A Simple Portfolio Strategy for the Trump Presidency

Over the last few weeks, and seemingly every time I look at the news, I see articles that are trying to forecast whether President Trump will be good or bad for the stock market. Here are a few examples: “The Trump Factor: Should Investors be Bullish or Bearish?” (Marketwatch) “With Donald Trump as President, Here’s What Will Happen to the U.S. Economy” (The Street) “How Donald Trump’s Presidency Will Affect the Stock Market” (Forbes) And, my personal favorite, the potential development of “Trump ETFs” being discussed at this week’s Inside ETF conference. If I’m being completely honest, here’s how I feel: I can’t take this nonsense anymore! And that’s putting it lightly. Nobody can be certain what is going to happen to the stock market, and this early on, these types of forecasts are a waste of time. Their purpose is to generate clicks, not to spread information. That said,
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Categories: Markets and Strategy.

Lack of Liquidity Can Be An Opportunity: A Look At Private Markets

Please join us for our webcast overview of Private Markets and how they might fit in your portfolio. For the last several years, I’ve been studying the world’s ultra-wealthy. I’ve studied not only their habits, but also their investments. Where do they invest? What do they invest in? How do they decide what is a good investment and what is not? Risk, returns—the whole enchilada. The one thing that I have found is that most of their investments are non-liquid, and are heavily concentrated in private investments. Before I go on, you must understand two things: 1) liquidity and 2) private investments. 1) Liquidity – This is the ability to easily sell your investment and receive cash for it. The faster you’re able to sell and receive cash, the more liquid the investment. 2) Private Investment – This is any investment that isn’t publicly traded on an exchange. Think about
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Categories: Strategy.

January Market Commentary: Are You A Pessimist or an Optimist?

If you know a pessimist when it comes to the markets, you have to get them to watch this Market Commentary. Hopefully, it will change the way they invest. Why? Because we talk about wise investing for the long term and how there is almost no time in history when optimism hasn’t won out. I’ll also talk about performance. Usually in our Market Commentaries we are focused on the prior month and discussing performance. This time around however, we’re looking at 2016. Wow. What a year. So many excellent lessons epitomized by this past year. Finally, we talk about your money and how you should have it managed with us, or someone with a philosophy like ours. We have a process based on probabilities that will optimize your chance at success and minimize your likelihood of failure. So many people I talk to simply have a terrible plan in place
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Categories: Market Commentary and Personal Finance.