14 Jan 2019

Is the Market Rigged?

When I was in college, I read Liar’s Poker, by Michael Lewis.  It’s the true story of Lewis’ job out of college on the trading floor at Soloman Brothers, the most powerful bond trading firm in the world at that time. Many of the characters like John Meriwether, Lewis Reneri, and John Thain are still staples of the financial media, but no one became more famous than Lewis himself. He’s… Read More

27 Jan 2017

2017 Forecasts: Part V

This is the last in a series of forecasts for 2017 and the last few questions are all about politics. What will happen in Washington with taxes?   Corporate tax rate is cut to 25 percent or lower. Top personal rate is reduced to 33 percent or lower. Estate tax is limited. Carried interest loophole is eliminated. None of the Above. Maybe I’m mixed up, but I think that this… Read More

26 Jan 2017

2017 Forecasts: Part IV

So far, you all aren’t getting tired of these forecasts (guesses), but before we start, I want to make a quick note: yesterday’s stock related forecasts made heavy use of Morningstar’s discounted cash flow (DCF) models. I don’t want you to get the impression that we use these models so heavily in our stock selection process since that just isn’t the case.  At some point, I will offer more details… Read More

25 Jan 2017

2017 Forecasts: Part III

The Barron’s predictions continue on today – previous questions and ‘answers’ for 2017 can be seen here and here. Question 5: Which FANG stock will fare best in 2017? Facebook (FB) Amazon (AMZN) Netflix (NFLX) Alphabet/Google (GOOGL) I think that the FANG stock story is a little played out – these were the four hottest stocks of 2015 and none did anything particularly interesting in 2016. Last year, I noted… Read More

24 Jan 2017

2017 Forecasts: Part II

This week, I’m making my predictions for 2017 based on the 16th annual Barron’s forecasting challenge.  I answered the first two questions yesterday, which you can find here. Today, I’m tackling two questions, starting with naming the top performing sector within the S&P 500.  There are 11 sectors and Barron’s is offering five choices, so technically, it’s not the best sector, but the best sector of the choices that Barron’s provides… Read More

23 Jan 2017

2017 Forecast: Part 1

Last year, Barron’s offered their readers a chance to test their forecasting skills by asking a number of multiple choices questions about what might happen in 2017.  I answered some of the questions in Daily Insights last year here and here. I revealed how my answers fared at our First Annual Investor’s Social last week, which I thought was a great success.  I want to thank everyone for coming and said… Read More

16 Jun 2016

Financial Times Recognizes Acropolis

I am pleased to announce that for the second time, Acropolis has been named a top Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) by the Financial Times (FT). The FT starts by looking at firms with more than $300 million in assets under management, which is about 1,500 RIAs.  They invite firms to fill out a questionnaire and then evaluate the companies based on six key attributes: assets under management (AUM), asset growth,… Read More

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9 Mar 2016

Naming Names on Broker Misconduct

When we started this business more than 13 years ago, I maintained a scrapbook of article clippings that I called “The Big Book of Broker Misdeeds.” At the time, we were coming out of the tech wreck and there were tons of articles about how brokers steered widows and orphans into unsuitable hot technology funds during the bubble years that blew apart when they fell back to earth. I know a… Read More

2 Mar 2016

Performance Transparency

We have another special posting from Michael Lissner today, who will be writing Daily Insights more regularly.  Also, there was a large typo yesterday, which said that we had traded $223.2 billion worth of stocks and ETFs.  Far from it: we traded $223.2 million in stocks and ETFs, which is still a lot, but less than what I wrote, which makes more sense given our $1.2 billion in assets under management…. Read More

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1 Mar 2016

The Inside Story on Trading Costs

Some things are easy to measure, like the internal costs of a mutual fund or exchange traded fund (ETF) or how much we spend in commissions at our custodian to buy or sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs. It’s much harder to measure the market impact of your trading, or how much you pay as a price-taker (like us) between the price to buy a security (the offer) and how… Read More