More disclosure won’t protect clueless investors

David MoonBlog

There is a battle occurring between regulators in the investment industry and most individuals are completely oblivious to both the proposed processes and the problems with the current patchwork system of financial industry oversight. For years I’ve written about the different ways in which people who hold themselves out as investor-helpers are regulated. Stockbrokers, financial planners, investment advisers, trust department employees and insurance salesmen are regulated by a number of different—and competing—organizations, each with its own requirements. Each regulatory authority thinks its systems and processes are better than the others. Under the guise of improving overall regulation and seeking consistency, … Read More

Football camp not the best path towards big bucks

David MoonBlog

Thousands of youngsters across the US are attending football camps this month, many because their parents believe that proper instruction at a young age could lead to college scholarship offers, the NFL and vast riches. If a parent’s goal is to begin training a future millionaire (a questionable goal, at best,) football camp is the wrong place to be. His kid should be in biosciences or business camp, not quarterback or kicker camp. Last year’s 32 opening-day NFL rosters listed 80 quarterbacks, with an average salary of $1.9 million. That’s a bunch of money, but it’s less than what the … Read More

Don’t confuse a rising tide with competence

David MoonBlog

In 1929, Walter Miles published a paper in Scientific American Magazine titled “Sleeping with the Eyes Open,” in which he described a phenomenon we now refer to as “highway hypnosis.” During a period of relative and unchanging calm, we have a tendency to stare at something simple and almost meaningless, lulling us into a state of environmental unawareness. That is, we are asleep at the wheel. A related condition is velocitation, where, in the absence of impediments, we exceed an otherwise normal, safe speed. Both are happening today in the stock market. And like a 19-year-old boy in a 1967 … Read More

Avoid kerfuffles, start estate planning early

David MoonBlog

For almost a week, the adult children of 82-year-old Casey Kasem feared that their estranged stepmother had kidnapped the legendary disc jockey and long-time host of the American Top 40 radio show. Kidnapping is not a great estate plan. When I started my investment firm 20 years ago I naively thought this business was about reading annual reports and picking stocks. It is, but it is so much more. The three most intimate things in a person’s life are their spirituality, sexuality and money. And people will more quickly tell you what they think about God and who they’re sleeping … Read More