I have been writing Above the Market for one year as of today (August 1, 2012). Nearly 400 posts and 100,000 readers later, I remain astonished at the level of readership I have obtained — far beyond what I thought possible, much less likely — and remain grateful to each and every reader. Despite many claims for one’s attention, this blog has received a gratifying amount of attention.
A few people deserve special mention and thanks.
Tom Brakke (his terrific blog is The Research Puzzle) generously offered outstanding help and guidance before I even had readers to speak of and continues to offer wise counsel whenever I ask. Tadas Viskanta provided my first distribution (exactly one month in) to the expert community he serves via his blog, Abnormal Returns, which remains the standard for its type. Joe Calhoun upped my exposure tremendously via Real Clear Markets. I am humbled to be featured often (including today) at both of those sites.
According to Investment News, Above the Market is a blog “for all financial advisers to follow.” Thank you, Michael Kitces, for saying so. Wade Pfau has been a great help too (be sure to read his blog and his site if you don’t already). Thanks also to some of the “big boys” (of both sexes) for help and encouragement or for simply liking or linking my work (Jason Zweig, Carl Richards, Christine Benz, Josh Brown and Barry Ritholtz, among others). Special thanks too to my firm for encouraging this endeavor.
My “top ten” posts based upon reader numbers follow in order of popularity. I hope you will give them a look (or another look).
- Investors’ 10 Most Common Behavioral Biases (why does the internet love numbered lists so much?)
- My Investing Checklist (it likes un-numbered lists too)
- CFA Conference: James Montier (great presentation and a very nice guy personally; my live-blogging at the CFA Conference was very well received)
- We Suck at Math (sadly, we do)
- Typically Boyish and Socially Unacceptable (“Why Do You Hate Your Wife”)
- Realistic Retirement Planning (those of us “in the business” don’t always do it by the book)
- The Long Cycle (we remain in a secular bear market)
- The Active Management Challenge (since most actively managed funds don’t outperform)
- We Have Met The Enemy And He Is Us (we hurt ourselves even more than outside forces do)
- I Believe in What Works (data trumps ideology)
However, I’d also like to focus on the following 15 posts that didn’t get nearly as much attention — perhaps because they were published before I had many readers — but which I think have some value.
- Beguiled By Narrative looks at the narrative fallacy in light of 9.11. That I get to take it to Frank Rich of the NYT is an added bonus.
- The Value Project is a multi-part series considering how to find value in the equity markets.
- Poor Use of Behavioral Analysis. I think this one is pretty funny (and instructive too).
- Trading v. Investing. Compare and contrast.
- Failure is the Best Teacher is a quick look at the life and legacy of Steve Jobs.
- Finding Value in a Loser’s Game. The perils of forecasting (we’re terrible at it).
- Hyperbole, the Golden Mean and False Equivalencies. I didn’t like Dan Solin’s The Smartest Portfolio You’ll Ever Own very much.
- The Diversification Debate. Like Billy Martin, I felt strongly both ways.
- The Planning Fallacy. Dan Kahneman nails it.
- Financial Products are Sold, Not Bought. Some products deserve to be sold, our reluctance to buy them notwithstanding.
- Of Data and Certainty. Nuance and careful distinctions are increasing rejected today. Too bad.
- It’s Not You, It’s Me talks about why investing is so hard (and includes a George Costanza video).
- If Investing = Faith, I’m Agnostic. Is past performance indicative of future results?
- Just Put the Ball in Play. Moneyball and investing.
- The Bias Blind Spot is our overarching problem. It doesn’t get nearly enough focus.
To everyone who has read, supported and helped me with this effort: Thank You! I hope one year leads to many more.