My Mea Culpas from 2014


My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. Its time for my annual mea culpas from last year.

I like what the editors did with the print version headline: As neither of us is infallible, here are my mea culpas from 2014.

Here’s an excerpt from the column:

 I have been performing thispublic rite of contrition since 2009 for the following reasons:

1. Owning up to your own mistakes is how to you become better: When it comes to investing, there is always room to refine your approach and improve the decision-making process.

2. It is important to recognize that failure is part of the process. In the world of investing, you must expect to be wrong .

3. Anyone who does a mea culpa is forced to stop lying to himself about how great he is. You are not a genius stockpicker, market timer, macro-pundit, whatever. You are not infallible (and neither am I). Admitting your own errors keeps you humble and grounded.

With that introduction behind us, let’s get right to this year’s errata.

The full discussion is worthwhile — especially my mea culpa on Gold.



As neither of us is infallible, here are my mea culpas from 2014
Barry Ritholtz
Washington Post, March 22, 2015

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Whammer commented on Mar 22

    I see what you did there on gold ;-)

  2. constantnormal commented on Mar 22

    re: emerging markets (and foreign markets in general) —

    When you do your accounting as to whether or not the have been successful investments vs US companies, how do you deal with the hobbling giving to foreign investments by the strong USD?

    I own a few ADRs, and they have not performed NEARLY as well as their business has, which I attribute to the implicit conversion from foreign currencies to US dollars. While their businesses and financials are doing splendidly, the USD ADR representations are not matching the company performance at all. I attribute this to the conversion from the foreign-currency-denominated stock price to the USD-denominated ADR price.

    I would expect that ETFs experience the same thing.

  3. catman commented on Mar 22

    Yes, I cleaned house this spring and killed all the zombies. Cost me 100k. Decided to keep winding down my number of trades and keep fading the US Congress which led me past “freedom fries” a while back to some great French companies I still own.

  4. Singmaster commented on Mar 23

    If that is the worst you could come up with, I would suggest you did very well.
    In perspective, losing Max was your bigger loss.

  5. DeDude commented on Mar 23

    Aha –on the Barron’s item I see that there is such a thing as a free lunch. Enjoy it; but as penance (cause it was just dumb luck) you should make a charitable donation.

  6. Molesworth commented on Mar 24

    Why reits? Is real estate not included in the total stock market index?
    Is scv a style weighting that has proven itself?


    ADMIN: Not in S&P500, different asset class

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