4 Thoughts on the Crypto “Bubble”

There’s been a lot of talk about whether Bitcoin, or crypto overall, is a bubble. Some say absolutely. Many suspect it’s likely, but argue that as with most bubbles, it’s difficult to know for sure. After all, the Economist called Bitcoin a bubble in 2011 when it was at $2.50 and again in 2013 when it was at $1,000. And Tyler Cowan used to think it was a bubble, but now isn’t so sure. I’ve had many fun discussions about this with friends and family, and have been increasingly reading and thinking about the topic. So I’d like to share a few thoughts. 1. The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrecnies is $740B – this is a bubble The market cap

Continue reading

Sustainable Approaches to Reducing Food Waste (Continued)

The following is a guest post from my good friend and former research colleague Paul Artiuch. Paul and I previously conducted a research study focused on market-oriented approaches to reducing agricultural food waste in India. Paul has since conducted some comparative research in the US, which he describes below. Our original research, including our report and the associated blog posts, can be found here as well as on the MIT Public Service Center website. Over a year ago, my colleague Sam and I researched and documented breakdowns in Indian agricultural supply chains in order to provide insight into a problem which costs India around 40% of its annual output.  Since then, we’ve been in contact with entrepreneurs, researchers and the media

Continue reading

Rules of Investing

Barry Ritholtz has a great list of investing rules, originally posted in two parts with descriptions in the Washington Post here and here. He recently reposted the consolidated list on his blog, The Big Picture, and it’s too good not to share. Every investor has their own process and decision-making rule set (or at least should), and while there’s no one approach that’s right, there are plenty that are wrong. Barry’s rules, at least in my opinion, are effective guides to help avid common mistakes and pitfalls. They’re broad enough that I think they’re applicable to investment activities ranging from managing a personal 401k or IRA all the way up to running a hedge fund or advisory firm. At the risk of

Continue reading

Great Investing Advice

Many people often ask me for investment advice, usually with questions about individual securities. I generally don’t like to respond to these questions for two reasons. First, I believe asset allocation is the single most important decision in the portfolio construction process. For this reason, I like to evaluate investments in the context of a diversified portfolio, not in isolation. There are always exceptions, sometimes for good reason, but I try to avoid them. Second, I can’t predict the future, and anyone who claims to be able to do so is lying. I have opinions on which companies, markets, and sectors appear to offer favorable opportunities, but if you ask me if a particular investment is going to go up

Continue reading

Shades of Green

TripAdvisor has gone public: Eleven years after it began life above Kosta’s Pizza in Needham, and seven years after it was acquired by Barry Diller’s InterActive Corp. for about $200 million, TripAdvisor is finally gaining a NASDAQ listing of its very own. The company starts trading tomorrow under the symbol TRIP, and it will also be included in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. I briefly worked for TripAdvisor one summer when I was an undergraduate. It was a great place to work. One anecdote always stuck with me. I don’t even know if it’s true, but I heard it from at least two people while working at the firm. The CEO, Steve Kaufer, supposedly hates the shade of green

Continue reading

S&P Goofs Up Again

Via Kid Dynamite: Just in case you missed the most ridiculous story of the day – the BBC has the details: “Standard & Poor’s accidentally released a message to some of its subscribers on Thursday saying that it had downgraded French debt from its top AAA rating. S&P said it was investigating what had gone wrong and stressed that France still had an AAA rating.” So, Europe is a veritable powder keg right now waiting to blow, and S&P accidentally releases an erroneous message that they downgraded France.  Then they said sorry.     I’m half surprised that markets weren’t down even more this morning. Beyond absurd. Agreed.

MIT C-Bonds!

MIT Issues Rare 100-Year Bond: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology came to market Wednesday with a $750 million taxable bond offering maturing in 100 years, according to people familiar with the deal. Bonds of that length are extremely rare, although universities–including Yale and Boston University–have issued so-called ‘century bonds’ in the past. With interest rates near all-time lows, ultra-long-term debt is a favorable option for issuers; and with risk premiums between 10-year and longer-dated debt narrowing, borrowers, especially AAA-rated ones like MIT, can fund themselves cheaply over extended periods. Pricing offered on the MIT deal as of its launch Wednesday was 1.30 percentage points over 30-year government bonds, according to the people familiar with it. That was lower than initial

Continue reading