Investment Writers You Should Follow

There’s no doubt things are a little crazy right now. So what better ay than to read from some of the finest minds in finance? 

I tend to look for specific people rather than blogs with a number of writers. I find the message gets a little murky with a number of writers on a blog. And the quality can vary. Hence this will be my list of my favourite investment writers.

Admittedly, all these are my own opinion. So, you may love it or hate it. Any other suggestions feel free to hit me up though.


Morgan Housel

Who?

Currently a partner at Collaborative Fund. Formerly wrote for The Motley Fool and The Wall Street Journal! That’s a pretty cool resume.

The Site

Posts at the Collaborative Fund website, alongside a few others. Often gives a good broad view of things, not always on the specifics and nitty-gritty of finance. Which I like. Makes for a nice easy read that can be applicable to a range of situations and topics.

Recommended Read

One of his articles that I think is a must-read especially right now is We’ll Get Through This.

Remember that when progress is measured generationally, results and performance should not be measured quarterly.

It looks bad today.

It might look bad tomorrow.

But hang in there.

We’ll get through this.

Another one of my favourites is Five Lessons from History.

More of a broad look at history and the world, but can still apply the principles to finance and investing.

The point is that the more specific a lesson of history is, the less relevant it becomes. That doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant. But the most important lessons from history are things that are so fundamental to the behaviors of so many people that they’re likely to apply to you and situations you’ll face in your own lifetime.

Twitter

@Morganhousel on Twitter.


Nick Maggiulli

Who?

Currently a data scientist at Ritholtz Wealth Management. Has a degree in Economics from Stanford. Interestingly started out just writing and blogging about finance before turning it into a career.

The Site

His own site, Of Dollars and Data. One of the Ritholtz wealth crew, which includes Ben Carlson (also on this list), Joshua Brown and Barry Ritholtz. They’re all pretty prominent on Twitter. Since he’s a data scientist by trade obviously there’s a few numbers involved. But don’t be scared! Nick has a wonderful way of explaining the data and making it relevant for investors of all expertise. Overall investing themes, personal investing, index funds etc, so no deep dives on individual companies if that’s your thing.

Recommended Read

Even God Couldn’t Beat Dollar-Cost Averaging

My point in all of this is that Buy the Dip, even with perfect information, typically underperforms DCA.  So if you attempt to build up cash and buy at the next bottom, you will likely be worse off than if you had bought every month.  Why? Because while you wait for the next dip, the market is likely to keep rising and leave you behind.

Twitter

@Dollarsanddata on Twitter.


Aswath Damodaran

Who?

Professor of Finance at the Stern School of Business at NYU, where he teaches corporate finance and equity valuation. So he knows what he’s talking about.

The Site

Posts all his work on Blogspot. His site is low on frills but high on quality information. Mainly posts about valuation, corporate finance and general themes in the market.

Recommended Read

Runaway Story or Meltdown in Motion? The Unraveling of the WeWork IPO

As WeWork stumbles its way to an IPO, with the very real chance that it could be pulled by its biggest stockholders (Neumann and Softbank) from a public offering, the question of what to do next depends upon whose perspective you take.
1. If you are a VC/equity owner in WeWorks, your choice is a tough one. On the one hand, you may want to pull the IPO and wait for a better moment. On the other, your moment may have passed and to survive as a private company, WeWork will need more capital (from you).

2. As an investor, whether you invest or not will depend on what you think is a plausible/probable narrative for the company, and the resulting value. I would not invest in the company, even at the more modest pricing levels ($15-$20 billion), but if the price collapsed to the single digits, I would buy it for its optionality.

3. If you are a trader, this stock, if it goes public, will be a pure pricing game, going up and down based upon momentum. If you are good at sending momentum shifts, you could take advantage. 

4. If you are a founder/CEO of a company, the lesson to be learned from this IPO is that no matter how disruptive you may perceive your company to be, in a business, there are lessons to be learned from looking at how that business has been run in the past. 


Jason Zweig

Who?

A writer for the Wall Street Journal for over 10 years now, and an editor of the revised edition of The Intelligent Investor. Author of Your Money and Your Brain and The Devil’s Financial Dictionary

The Site

Has his own site. Now to be upfront. Some articles on his site are mere snippets of his WSJ articles, so to get the full thing you’ll need a subscription with them. But there is still the odd post that can be found where it’s the real deal. Like “Would Benjamin Graham Have Hated Index Funds?” and “A Rediscovered Masterpiece By Benjamin Graham”.

Recommended Read

Stocks Are In Chaos. Control The One Thing You Can.

“Investing, now more than ever, is about controlling the controllable. You can’t control the markets. You can’t control the coronavirus. You can control your own behavior, although that requires making accurate, honest predictions about yourself.”

Twitter

@jasonzweigwsj on Twitter.


Cliff Asness

Who?

Co-Founder and CIO at AQR Capital Management. Holds a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Chicago, where he was a student and teaching assistant to Eugene Fama (Known for his work efficient-market hypothesis, and Nobel laureate in Economics).

The Site

Posts on AQR’s site. Heavy focus on numbers and the quantitative side of investing. But comprehensive and extremely thorough, so well worth the read. Probably not for the faint of (investing) heart though.

Recommended Read

It Was the Worst of Times: Diversification During a Century of Drawdowns

Bad times for investors are a sure thing, but ways to address them are not. The data does not support the conventional wisdom that expensive markets can help to time crashes. Buying put options has fared worse than many investors might suspect, too. As with everything in investing, there is no perfect solution to addressing the risk of large equity market drawdowns. However, we find using nearly a century of data that diversification is probably (still) investors’ best bet. This is not to say that diversification is easy. Investors should analyze the return and correlation profiles of their diversifying investments to prepare themselves for the range of outcomes that they should expect during drawdowns and also over the long term.

Twitter

@CliffordAsness on Twitter.


Matt Levine

Who?

Currently a writer for Bloomberg. Previously an investment banker for four years at Goldman Sachs, and an M&A lawyer. Graduate of Harvard and Yale Law School. Has previously written though for a number of newspapers and financial news sites such as Dealbreaker and WSJ.

The Site

Has his own daily newsletter called Money Stuff. GOAT tier level email. Probably the email I’m most excited to read (excluding my payslip). Wickedly smart yet funny and understandable. A joy to read his work.

Recommended Read

Pain Buttons and Moral Engagement

What does it mean that Dalio is giving away the management algorithms, while keeping the investing algorithms to himself? On the one hand, it suggests that at some level Dalio really does think that the culture is the point, that his true accomplishment is finding a new way to manage people rather than making a lot of money for investors. On the other hand, you know, the management algorithms are free; the investing algorithms are priceless. Bridgewater is giving away the algorithms that make it famous — but it’s hanging on to the algorithms that make it rich.

Twitter

@matt_levine on Twitter.


Ben Carlson

Who?

Director of Institutional Asset Management at Ritholtz Wealth. Previously developed portfolio strategies and investment plans for endowments, pensions, and HNW people among others. Author of a number of books including A Wealth of Common Sense: Why Simplicity Trumps Complexity in Any Investment Plan and Organizational Alpha: How to Add Value in Institutional Asset Management.

The Site

Has his own site at awealthofcommonsense.com. More of a macro-level view rather than individual stock insights and analysis. Uses data well and to back up his points. Aims to explain complex financial topics so that more people can understand them.

Basically posts about once per day. Which is a no small feat. But (there’s always a but), dare I say not all a worth reading.

Recommended Read

Timely and useful: Why You Can’t Always Swing at the Fat Pitch During a Crisis

Let’s assume you’ve been preparing for a market crash. You’ve been stockpiling cash for a number of years in hopes of buying when there’s blood in the streets. Cash has been a painful position to hold but now it offers optionality and the ability to take advantage of massively lower prices.

But we are also facing an economic crisis unlike we have ever seen. Economic activity is coming to a halt almost instantaneously. Businesses large and small alike are going to experience an unprecedented slowdown.

Many businesses will likely go under if the government doesn’t step in to provide a backstop. Many people will lose their jobs. Lives are being severely disrupted.

Even if you hold a bunch of cash at the moment it may not seem prudent to invest in the stock market, even if the expected gains from current levels are much more attractive than they’ve been in some time. If you’re going through a personal financial crisis it doesn’t matter how attractive prices look.

Twitter

@awealthofcs on Twitter.


Howard Marks

Who?

Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Oaktree Capital Management.

Read all the Reddit and Twitter comments on his latest memos and there’s not a lot of love. But I still like him and read his thoughts. So deal with it.
Buffett on Marks “When I see memos from Howard Marks in my mail, they’re the first thing I open and read. I always learn something, and that goes double for his book.”. So if Buffett speaks so highly of him, I’ll read it.

The Site

Writes his memos on the Oaktree website. Marks’ generally comment on overall market themes and general feelings.

Recommended Read

This Time It’s Different

It may also be true that given the ease today of searching the universe of securities, it may be harder than it used to be to find “value” companies with current assets or earning power that are broadly unrecognized and thus underpriced. Since the best returns come from buying things whose merits others aren’t aware of, it’s certainly possible that easy, widespread access to data is making it harder for value investors to excel.
On the other hand, companies that do have better technology, better earnings prospects and the ability to be disrupters rather than disrupted still aren’t worth infinity. Thus it’s possible for them to become overpriced and dangerous as investments, even as they succeed as businesses (this was often the case with the Nifty-Fifty in 1968-73). And I continue to believe that eventually, after the modern winners have been lauded (and bid up) to excess, there will come a time when companies lacking the same advantages will be so relatively cheap that they can represent better investments (see value versus growth in 2000-02).

Twitter

@HowardMarksBook on Twitter.


What investment writers did I miss? Let me know by commenting or reach out on Twitter and I’ll add them to the list.

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