Check out the World Economic Foundation's top global risks for 2015 here. It's interesting that some of the major issues of the past few years did not make it onto the list this year even though they haven't gone away...cough**income disparity**cough.
It's probably not very well known that one of my top 3 people to read when it comes to finance and investing is Jason Voss. His remarkable success allowed him to retire at a young age and now he is a content director at CFA Institute. I try to read as much as I possibly can from Jason because he always offers unique and thought provoking insights. If you want to be a smart investor I highly recommend reading the following article, which is a catalog of r-squared's. "Seeing is not believing" when it comes to charts according to Jason. It's very important to use multiple tools when you look at charts if you want to be a successful investor and look at things differently than everyone else. Mr. Voss says it best, "Understanding data well requires a combination of visuals and statistical measures.
Click here for some wisdom haha. And here is my favorite quote from the article, "As he showed, you don't need a prestigious degree or a great pedigree to start your work towards becoming a sensible, successful value investor."
In this article by Aswath Damodaran excess returns are discussed. Dr. Damodaran discusses how he adjusts ROE and ROIC to better reflect returns on capital by companies. He also shows some really great tables he created detailing highest and lowest excess returns by sector and geography where excess returns are calculated as actual returns less required returns. Enjoy!
Bet you didn't know that Saudi Aramco (the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia) was the biggest oil company in the world (public or private)! Apparently they have an estimated market cap of $10T or about 15x the size of Apple!! Their biggest oil field also produces around 5MM barrels of oil per day and the company as a whole makes more then $1B per day in revenues.
I didn't want to summarize this short Economist article because it was short enough already and the author did a great job of getting the point across, but check out this article I just read by The Economist for a refresher on why deflation is a bad thing.
This isn't anything new to anyone with a pulse in the investment community, but I wanted to pass along a cool chart (yes, I love charts) from the EIA on major commodity price changes in 2014. You can check it out here. Spoiler...energy prices declined more than all other commodities last year! Just to quickly set the record straight...I think this is great for the US consumer and domestic markets over the medium-term.
It's been a while since I've posted anything on here thanks to earnings season, but things have finally slowed down a bit. In this morning's WSJ I read an interesting article that Christie's International set a new record in which they sold roughly $853MM worth of art "in about the same time it takes to watch a movie." Is this an unconventional sign of a market top? I don't know, but it makes you wonder...especially when money sloshes around this quickly. Check out the full article here.