The Last Straw

Investment resolutions for 2019

January 2019 Although the start of a new calendar year doesn’t really hold any special significance for investors, the relative dearth of corporate news makes it as good a time as any to reflect on your investments. And, if necessary, undertake a bit of course-correction. The fact is, no mater how carefully you build your portfolio, it will inexorably evolve […]

Big isn’t always better

‘Blue-chip’ is a term often applied to the more established, higher-quality businesses; a name that originates from the poker table where the highest value chips were traditionally blue in colour. These stalwarts are typically considered lower risk and are the stocks sensible investors supposedly focus on. Perhaps. But for many of these so-called blue-chips the shareholder experience has been woeful. Consider these examples from the ASX20, […]

A ‘technical’ correction?

This week, the Aussie market entered what is popularly called a ‘technical correction’ — that is, a fall of 10% or more from a previous high. In so doing, it wiped off all of the gains from the past year.  Exactly who decided that a 10% drop is a correction I have no idea, but it sure can seem pretty scary. You certainly […]

The more things change…

In preparing for this week’s update, I was considering rehashing an older piece I’d written a few years back. Why not? All the big ideas in investing are timeless and as relevant today as when they were first conceived.  (More to the point, I was running desperately short on time and — as usual — was struggling to think of something original […]

Breaking your own ideas

Of the many challenges that investing brings, the emotional ones are arguably the hardest. There’s little value in being the smartest person in the room if you can’t muster the necessary discipline and temperament to face the chaos of the market. One of the more prickly behavioural challenges we face is the inertia of our beliefs. We tend to be […]

The power of narrative

No matter what approach you take with investing — and here at Strawman we’re certainly a broad church — it’s impossible to avoid the narrative bias. That is, our tendency to interpret a set of facts or events in terms of a story. A story helps us connect things together, and gives them meaning. It sets out an arc that helps us make predictions […]