Ackman’s Not So Crazy Idea on Wealth Inequality

I admit it, Bill Ackman gets under my skin. When I listen to him I get a snake-oil salesman vibe. Something about him seems slimy. Of course, I don’t know the guy and I’m sure we’d get along swimmingly if we had the chance to chat over dinner and a $20,000 bottle of vintage French wine (Ackman’s treat of course).

He’s clearly incredibly bright and has the marketing thing down pat (his investment management company Pershing Square has over $8B under management). But he can be a bit cringy. During the coronavirus selloff in March, he started crying on-air during…

How Rosy Retrospection and Declinim Biases Impact Investors

Many of my favorite conversations occur over a glass of bourbon and a hand-rolled cigar. During a recent discussion with an old friend, I was asked why the stock market continues to rise despite the wall of worry built by a global pandemic, racial unrest, and the divide over differing politics.

My initial reaction was to repeat common economic talking points about the Federal Reserve’s commitment to providing a backstop for the U.S. economy or the fiscal stimulus passed by congress. Neither seemed adequate. …

A look at what happens you buy and sell stocks

The GameStop fiasco has prompted a deeper look at the inner-workings of financial transactions. A certain brokerage is being slammed in the media for how they dealt with the massive volume and volatility of GameStop and other public companies, but many other brokerages did the same (including some prime brokers who serve institutional investors).

The purpose of this article is not to create an escape hatch for large financial institutions. Instead, I hope this provides some clarity on what occurs when you push that buy or sell button.

The Key Players

  • Retail Investors — non-professional, individual investors
  • Institutional Investors — an institution that…

It’s been just over a year since I wrote “The Climate Shockwave Felt Around the Street”, but it feels like a solid decade. That story went on to be published in numerous publications, including The Startup, and I thought it’d be fun to revisit the topic since Mr. Fink is back in the news with his annual letter. I wrote the piece just before what we now know as Covid-19 wreaked havoc across the globe. I’ll forgo any additional pandemic talk as we’re still living it and fatigue seems to be at all-time highs.

Last year, many on the street…

An Introduction to Wright’s Law

Remember when even a standard-sized flat-screen television costs several thousand dollars (and could easily cause a trip to the chiropractor after handling)? Did you know the first microwave ovens would set you back between $2,000 and $3,000 in the 1970s? Today, we can purchase a massive smart t.v. with mind-blowing specs for just a few hundred bucks and a countertop microwave for less than fifty dollars.

We live in a technology-driven society, so the speed of innovation is not always apparent. But when we look back, it's clear that the pace of technological improvements is faster than ever, and accelerating.

How to Navigate the Upcoming $68T Handoff

Sixty-Eight Trillion Dollars ($68,000,000,000,000). That’s how much moola Forbes estimates will transfer to millennials by the year 2030…that’s a lot of avocado toast. That’s over three times the U.S. annual gross domestic product (GDP) according to the World Bank. I’m sure a few millennials will read this and think, “OK, boomer”, but relax, I’m one of you, and I happen to love avocado toast.

But the coming wealth transfer is no joke, and while the millennial financial narrative often revolves around massive student debt, PTSD from the great recession, and out of reach home prices, this massive transfer of wealth…

Charlie Munger is a living legend. He’s best known as Warren Buffet’s trusted sidekick, right-hand man, and partner in building Berkshire Hathaway into the behemoth it is today. But he’s an icon in his own right. Together they’re regarded as two of the brightest, most disciplined investors in the world, always sticking to value investing principles in the mold of the great Benjamin Graham. Buffet and Munger have hit the nail on the head often during their 40-year partnership, and the proof is in the pudding. Together they have grown Berkshire’s valuation to a whopping $550M (that’s $555,000,000). I have…

How One Letter Will Change the World

Did you feel that? That shockwave was Blackrock CEO, Larry Fink, back in January 2020 stating the obvious but something only quietly whispered on Wall Street; “the evidence on climate risk is compelling investors to reassess core assumptions about modern finance…in the near future — and sooner than most anticipate — there will be a significant reallocation of capital.” Say what?

If you aren’t familiar with Larry Fink and Blackrock let me provide a quick background. Blackrock is one of the largest, if not the largest (depending on who you ask) asset management firm in the world. As of the…

James Vermillion

Investing Junkie. Financial Advisor. Bourbon Drinker.

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