David Merkel Blog | Talkmarkets | Page 1
Founder, Aleph Blog
Contributor's Links: The Aleph Blog Aleph Investments, LLC

David J. Merkel, CFA — 2010-present, I run my own equity asset management shop, called Aleph Investments.  I manage separately managed stock and bond accounts for upper middle class individuals and small institutions.  My minimum is $100,000.

From 2008-2010, I was ... more

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Cash On The Sidelines
Anytime you hear a bull or bear argument about cash on the sidelines, understand that it is bogus. Ordinary trading does not add or subtract cash on the sidelines, excluding commissions.
Age-Invariant Asset Allocation
It is often said that young people should invest more in stocks because they have more time to bounce back from bad market environments, and so they should take more risk. There is some merit to that argument.
On War Risk
International investing is beneficial for diversification purposes. No conflict in the post WWII era has materially affected the markets for long, or done lasting damage. That being said, here is my advice on how to handle investing as war looms.
Limits
Be ready for the market decline when it comes. It may begin with a blowout with equity volatility but continue with a retreat from risky stocks that offer low prospective returns.
Estimating Future Stock Returns, September 2019 Update
The variable of the ratio of the value of equities to the value of all assets is composed of two separate variables: the value of equities and the value of everything else.
Another Way To Deal With The Rare Problem Of Closed-End Fund Premiums
Rights offerings are typically a small-cap phenomenon. They are one of the financing methods of last resort. But they could play a meaningful role in bringing down the premium over NAV of a closed-end fund.
Dissent On Triple-S Management II
To use Buffett's term, I have put Triple-S Management in the "too hard pile." The company will have some hard times ahead. But there's also a path to where I would buy the stock again...
The Sirens’ Call
The stock market model is projecting a 3.06%/year return over the next ten years as of the close on 11/15/2019. That’s near where a 10-year mid-single-A rated bond would trade.
No Es ESG
There are fads in investing. They eventually go away. Remember ARM funds? The Americus Trusts? (Neat idea, killed by a legal change). The nifty fifty? Hot industries that produce a lot of IPOs?
EC Neither A Borrower Nor A Lender Be
You would think we would have learned from the Financial Crisis, but the more I look at current conditions, the more I think we are short-sighted.
Industry Ranks November 2019
Value players should look into cold industries. They won’t get so badly hit in a decline, and they might have some positive surprises.
Odds & Ends
The repo markets will function fine with a larger Fed balance sheet supporting it.
EC Greenspan’s Pathology
His shadow still affects central banking today, hence FOMC doing the bidding of the stock, bond and futures markets.
Understanding Investment Consensus
Understanding the consensus in investing is important. During the middle of when an investment idea is succeeding or failing, typically the consensus is correct.
EC Avoid Complexity In Limiting Risk
In an inflationary situation like the 70s, the bonds are short enough that over a five year period, you should make money, just not in real terms.
Improving Liquidity For Small Cap Stocks
Buy low, sell high: Easier said than done.
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