Insights From Conversations With Great Investors



Warren Buffett said that among the lessons he learned from Benjamin Graham was that “price is what you pay, value is what you get.” Though Buffett used the phrase in a discussion about bonds and stocks in his 2008 letter to Berkshire-Hathaway shareholders, the adage applies to many other objects. One such object is the digital recorder you see pictured to the right.

I bought this recorder during my first year at AAII. Though its replacement cost isn’t much (about $30 to $70 on Amazon, depending on the model), its value is extremely high. It holds conversations I have with practitioners and academics. There may well be enough good investing advice on it to fill a book. Since this is a day of giving thanks, I can tell you that every day I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to speak with very smart and talented people in the investing field.

I purchased a new recorder after a glitch with the older recorder almost caused me to reschedule my interview with Charley Ellis literally minutes before I was supposed to call him. (A solution was found barely in the nick of time, and you can see a transcript of our conversation in this month’s AAII Journal.) But as I look at the recorder, I thought it might be worthwhile to share a compilation of the some of the advice that’s on it. In initially writing this week’s commentary, I quickly realized that there was more than enough to blow far past the word count I try to stick to (typically between 500 and 600 words). So, to avoid being overly verbose, I’ve chosen some select highlights to share. I hope you find them useful. Read more »

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Highlights from the AAII Journal

AAII Sentiment Survey

The latest survey results are shown below. Due to the timing of today’s holiday, I wrote this week’s commentary in advance and before the latest numbers were known. The current results, which are automatically updated by our content management software, are shown below.

This week’s results:
Bullish: 46.7%, up 7.8 points
Neutral: 26.8%, down 5.0 points
Bearish: 26.6%, down 2.8 points

Historical averages:
Bullish: 38.5%
Neutral: 31.0%
Bearish: 30.5%

Take the Sentiment Survey.

What’s Trending on AAII

  1. Choosing Between Mutual Funds and ETFs
  2. Cash Dividend Types, Dates and Taxes
  3. William O’Neil’s CAN SLIM Approach to Selecting Growth Stocks Using Fundamental and Technical Data

The Week Ahead

Earning season continues with just eight members of the S&P 500 scheduled to report. Those companies include: Autodesk (ADSK), Mallinckrodt plc (MNK) and Tiffany & Co. (TIF) on Tuesday; PVH Corp (PVH) on Wednesday; and Dollar General (DG), Kroger (KR) and Ulta (ULTA) on Thursday.

The week’s economic reports include the first gross domestic product (GDP) revision, the September Case-Shiller home price index and November consumer confidence, which will be released on Tuesday. Wednesday will feature the November ADP employment report, October personal income and outlays, the November Chicago purchasing managers’ index (PMI), October pending home sales index, and the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, which is a summary of commentary on current economic conditions. November motor vehicle sales, the November PMI manufacturing index, the November ISM manufacturing index and October construction spending will be released on Thursday. Friday will feature the November employment situation.

Five Federal Reserve officials will make public appearances: vice chair Stanley Fischer and New York president William Dudley on Tuesday; governor Jerome Powell on Wednesday; Cleveland president Loretta Mester on Wednesday and Thursday; and governor Daniel Tarullo on Friday.

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