All Posts By

Jared Korver

The Trouble With Biometric Investment Monitors

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

I mean this in the best possible way: You do not keep yourself alive.   The breathing, the movement of blood, the functioning of the kidneys and liver and all the rest–you and I have no role whatsoever in making it all work. The most we can do is keep ourselves from getting in the way of the amazing ways our bodies stay alive, and perhaps even slightly improve the current performance of some of our organs and systems through exercise and healthy eating.   Don’t get me wrong! Please do not get in the way of your body by what you

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Exception and Nuance: The King and Queen of Finance

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

My son Miles and I went to breakfast this morning before I dropped him off at preschool. We got a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit for each of us and a donut to share, plus milk for him and coffee for me. I don’t know of a better way to start a Friday. At any rate, we were at a place near my in-laws’ old house in Raleigh, and I suggested to Miles that we drive by and see where they used to live. He sat there for a second and then asked, “Dad, why did they tear down their

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Who Can Sell Stocks Better Than a Monkey?

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

We have talked a lot–generally, and in the specific context of the last few months of market volatility–about the importance of an investment process that isn’t based on words like “hope” or “proprietary model” or even “I just have a good feeling about this.” This is so because we believe that markets are pretty darn efficient, and while that doesn’t always mean the price of any given stock or any basket of stocks is “right”–there’s no such thing–it does mean that markets are good at including available information of a staggering scale into the pricing of assets. That’s not to

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How to Time the Market

By | The Friday Brief | One Comment

Jesse Livermore was a stock trader who made his fortune during the 1929 stock market crash, in which he heavily shorted U.S. stocks and then began to buy them up near market lows. On the worst day of the crash, October 29, 1929, Livermore is said to have made the equivalent of $3 billion in one day of trading. Since then (since time immemorial, really), this notion of trading stocks based on the ever cyclical nature of the economy at large and the stock market in particular–commonly referred to as “timing the market”–has long since captured the imaginations–and fortunes!–of many an

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Thanks for Nothing, Headlines

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

We will celebrate Thanksgiving in less than a week, on the 22nd of November (which is, incidentally, the earliest possible date we could celebrate Thanksgiving). You know how it goes when these early ones come around–we are all getting “snuck up on” and “caught off guard” by the suddenness of Thanksgiving. And this year, perhaps, in the midst of a vicious socio-political atmosphere, faced with dystopian landscapes of a burning California, dealing with our first dose of hard markets in years–maybe we find it difficult to engage the idea of thankfulness in any meaningful way. Indeed, the front-page headlines of

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Good money, Bad money

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

When my son Charlie came home from the NICU in February and was going to doctors appointments with some frequency, one of the things that came up was that he, like many newborns, had a case of torticollis. Torticollis is basically the tendency for a baby’s head to lean one way and an associated difficulty for them to lean it the other way on their own. It’s not serious if you do some pretty straightforward physical therapy, which simply involves stretching the baby’s neck muscles and retraining them to work in a more symmetrical way. On the other hand, if

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Disaster Relief? A Call To Action.

By | The Friday Brief | One Comment

What an odd phrase, if you think about it: Disaster Relief. You can get relief from an itchy bug bite, or from a golf ball on a cart path, or even relief of certain types of debt. But relief from a disaster? It’s oddly inadequate to consider relief in those terms, especially when confronted with the images I’m sure you’ve all seen of towns like Wilmington and New Bern and Lumberton and Fayetteville and all the rest under several feet of water as a result of almost three feet of rain at the hands of Hurricane Florence. I don’t have

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In Defense of a Working Retirement

By | The Friday Brief | 2 Comments

On Sunday, this “news” came out that Geoffrey Owens–an actor who had a recurring role on The Cosby Show–was spotted working at a Trader Joe’s somewhere in New Jersey, and then shamed for it. The sentiment seems to have been something like, “Poor Geoffrey. If only his former fame had produced a more lasting fortune and the associated work exemption that would make him a happier man by any objective standard…” And on Monday we celebrated Labor Day, a holiday which has its origin in the labor movements of the late 19th century (the first Labor Day was a strike!), when workers–many of whom were

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FOMO and Facebook: Why Diversification Matters

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

A couple of interesting things happened this week that led to this blog, but before I get to them, I want to start elsewhere. I did a very bad thing before I sat down to write this, which was to get on Redfin and look at homes for sale in our neighborhood. After about two minutes of perusing the listings I stumbled upon this one, which can most accurately be described as The Home of My Dreams, and also, Not Particularly Close to Affordable for me and my family. And do you know something? Seeing that–that the home I would

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401k Bombs and the Fall of GE

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

In Barbarians at the Gate, a thrilling tale of the buyout of RJR Nabisco in the late 80s, there is an account of the development of a smokeless cigarette product called Premier that, while being ahead of its time in some respects, was also a complete disaster. From the very first test groups of people trying these “cigarettes,” no one ever liked the taste or smoking experience of Premiers, and yet, largely due to the blind optimism of RJR Nabisco’s CEO Ross Johnson, the company continued to push the product all the way to market, where it landed with about

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