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Top 10 Posts of 2017

by: Lawrence Hamtil     

I am quite thankful for everyone who has helped spread the word about my blog over the last couple years.  I am humbled to say that this year a few of my articles were even referenced by some of my finance heroes, such as Matt Levine, Jeff Saut, Matt Klein, and the Alpha Architect crew.  It is a challenge to write on a regular basis, but it is one that I feel is richly rewarding.  It is a bonus, of course, if any readers find the articles useful.

Anyway, here below are the most widely-read articles I wrote in 2017:

1. Of Pessimism and Pride - My philippic of  sorts on what really drives noted bear John Hussman's repeated - and wrong - calls on the stock market, and his refusal to admit he has been wrong.

2. Why You Probably Won't Survive the Next Bear Market - I list a few reasons why investors who lose discipline as the market climbs will be setting themselves up for disaster when the tide inevitably goes out.

3. The Value of Lasting Moats - My article on the value of moats, particularly those in industries that are less subject to technological disruption.

4. Imagining the Next Bear Market - Using examples from the last two bear markets, I lay out some possibilities for what the next bear market may look like.

5. The Market Is Not As Top-Heavy As It May Seem - In this article, I demonstrate how, despite the obsession with a few celebrity stocks collectively referred to as the "FAANG" stocks, the S&P 500's current composition is remarkably normal.

6. Faith In Compounding Is Not Enough - I explain why compounding is present in all aspects of our life, but in financial affairs, compounding is apparent only in retrospect, and is anything but a guarantee.

7. Developed Market Scorecard - This is a brief look at the success (or lack thereof) of the major developed equity markets in the MSCI universe, and what may explain the disparity in returns for a few of them.

8. Relative Equity Valuations, Diversification, and Creative Destruction - In this article, I describe how the key characteristics of diversification and dynamism set the U.S. equity market apart from all the rest.

9. Learning the Wrong Lessons - Here I discuss how a popular study with many implications can be abused by people eager to fit the findings to their chosen narrative.

10. The Correct Way to Frame Relative Valuations - In my opinion, this was my most important article, as it demonstrates how global equity market valuations should be contextualized before making allocation decisions based on aggregated data.

Thanks for reading, and have a great 2018!

The information provided above is obtained from publicly available sources and it is believed to be reliable. However, no representation or warranty is made as to its accuracy or completeness.

Lawrence Hamtil is a fourteen-year veteran of the financial services industry, having served clients in all aspects of the business during his career, which started in 2002. In 2005, he joined Dennis Wallace of Fortune Financial Services, LLC, becoming, at the time, one of Multi-Financial Securities, Inc's youngest registered representatives. In 2008, Dennis and Lawrence made the decision to become fully independent by founding their own Registered Investment Advisory (RIA), Fortune Financial Advisors, LLC. He serves clients in the United States and Europe. His financial commentary has been referenced in Barron’s online edition.

You can connect with Lawrence on Twitter ( @lhamtil) or via email, lawrence.hamtil@fortuneadv.com.