Why a “Must Read” List is Critical for Value Investors
As a soldier, I was trained to find bits of actionable intelligence hidden in an ocean of mostly irrelevant information. The goal was to use only pertinent data points to ensure military decisions were well informed; leading to greater probabilities of favorable outcomes.
Now a vet, but a passionate and long-time value investor, I apply the same skill-set to improving my investment decisions. This time around the goal is to maximize my portfolio’s risk-adjusted returns.
In 2017, this skill is proving to be invaluable. The overall geopolitical environment is riddled with high levels of uncertainty; all of it is being reported yet most of it should have little or no effect on the decisions of a value investor.
So as I cast my net into the sea of information, I lean on a few trusted blogs for assistance, blogs by authors that add value; helping me find the key bits of information germane to making great investment decisions.
With a necessity of having a diversity of opinions, here is my list of the “Must Read” investing blogs in 2017. The list is in alphabetical order as it is difficult to rank the “greatness” of one blog over another.
Top 20 Investing Blogs for 2017
1. Aleph Blog by David Merkel
Follow on Twitter: @AlephBlog
As a value investor, David is laser focused on truly understanding investment risk. He provides in-depth coverage of a wide range of market-related topics with an emphasis on identifying, understanding and managing risk within your portfolio.
2. A Wealth of Common Sense by Ben Carlson
Follow on Twitter: @awealthofcs
Ben’s blog covers wealth management, personal finance as well as investing in various asset classes. Ben writes equally clearly and succinctly about stocks, real-estate, and social security.
3. Ben Bernanke by Ben Bernanke
The former Federal Reserve Chair needs no introduction. His articles frequently give deep-dive insights on how economists and regulators view the financial markets and possible policy actions and outcomes from the Fed.
4. Capitalist Exploits by Chris MacIntosh
Follow on Twitter: @capitalistexp
Chris takes a global view of investing with his essays hitting the major macro issues of the day. He is equally at ease blogging about capital allocation strategies as he is about the U.S or German economy; all with a view to how these topics impact the yield of your investments.
5. Contrarian Edge by Vitaliy Katsenelson
Follow on Twitter: @vitaliyk
Highly prolific in his opinions, Vitaliy is an investment professional with views that are very solidly in line with those of a value investor. You can expect in-depth, straightforward and easy to understand narrative style articles and audio interviews on a variety of issues facing value-side investors.
6. Crossing Wall Street by Eddy Elfenbein
Follow on Twitter: @EddyElfenbein
An investment advisor with an attitude of buying and holding shares of outstanding companies. Equity-heavy, Eddy’s posts give a reality check to other value-side investors keeping them on the straight and narrow, providing practical valuation tools and his own “buy” list.
7. Marc to Market by Marc Chandler
Follow on Twitter: @marcmakingsense
Marc publishes articles on the global financial markets and the geopolitical issues that affect those markets. His blog contains a heavy dose of monetary policy and dollar related articles.
8. MishTalk by Mike “Mish” Shedlock
Follow on Twitter: @MishGEA
Data driven, Mish gives an investor’s interpretation of global economic data and political trends…expect a bit of humor and oddly placed topics to liven things up.
9. Musings on Markets by Aswath Damodaran
The name of this blog says it all. Aswath is a Professor of Finance who dives into a smorgasbord of finance and current news related topics with penetrating and insightful analysis on big-picture issues that help fine-tune investment strategies.
10. Oblivious Investor by Michael Piper
Follow on Twitter: @michaelrpiper
Making index investing simple is the focus of this blog. A CPA and author of several books, Michael places his emphasis on low fees, core fundamentals, and the only free lunch on Wall Street, diversification.
11. Odd Ball Stocks by Nate Tobik
Follow on Twitter: @oddballstocks
True to its name, Nate is not shy about looking into the dark places that most value investors shy away from. Nano and micro cap companies are put in focus with clear, logically laid out analysis.
12. Old School Value by Jae Jun
Follow on Twitter: @Jae_Jun
Jae’s blog will get your brain cells working on core valuation techniques. The site includes calculators and tools useful in fundamental analysis for value investors following a Benjamin Graham / Warren Buffet approach.
13. Richard Christopher Whalen by Richard Christopher Whalen
Follow on Twitter: @rcwhalen
I started following Christopher, who is an investment banker, just about the time of the financial meltdown. He’s on the inside of the Wall Street financial industry and tells it like he sees it. His thought-provoking articles are published nationwide and he can be seen interviewed on CNBC and Bloomberg.
14. Sure Dividend by Ben Reynolds
Follow on Twitter: @SureDividend
Ben’s the most recent blogger that I’ve started following. His in-depth analysis looks at U.S. listed stocks and covers bread-and-butter issues for the dividend driven value investor.
15. The Big Picture by Barry Ritholtz
Follow on Twitter: @RitholtzWealth
A no-nonsense easy to understand view of markets is what this blog is all about. Barry is a professional money manager and can occasionally be seen on Bloomberg. Expect short and snappy posts about pertinent issues of the day, usually written with a dash of humor.
This blog has been around since about 2011 and posts content that is geared towards true, dyed in the wool, long-term investors.
17. The Reformed Broker by Joshua M. Brown
Follow on Twitter: @reformedbroker
Joshua is a financial advisor who writes and tweets pretty much about any topic that is on his mind. Articles are generally concise, can include video, is easy to understand, always relevant and timely.
18. Value Investing News by Ken Faulkenberry
Follow on Twitter: @valueinvesting
Ken posts short, to-the-point articles about items of general interest to value investors. If stock information is posted, it tends to lean more toward large and mega cap companies.
19. Value Investing World by Joe Koster
Follow on Twitter: @jtkoster
This blog mostly posts links and short articles from other sources and different disciplines. Joe’s content is biased towards value investing and mostly deals with strategic issues which affect portfolios.
20. Value Walk by Jacob Wolinsky
Follow on Twitter: @valuewalk
The content Value Walk covers the spectrum of market caps. It allows contributors to post articles and has staff writers, which gives a wide variety of opinions.
So, What Do You Think?
Let’s face it, there are many fantastic investing related blogs with much fewer relating specifically to value investing. Finding the ones with information to help make the best investment decisions is a challenge. I hope I’ve somehow made your search a little easier. BUT I’m nowhere near to being perfect, so please write in with your own recommendations.
A weakness: My “Must Read” list contains almost exclusively investors holding positions in U.S. listed companies. In 2016 Canadian equity returned 17.51% and London’s FTSE 14.43% compared that to the 9.54% of the S&P and you clearly lose out not being properly diversified. As I said earlier, by quoting the well-worn saying: diversification is the “only free lunch on Wall Street”; for me, that means protecting my portfolio by holding positions in other developed markets. I would love to add to my Top Investing Blogs list a value investor who, like myself, holds a truly globally diversified portfolio of equity, debt backed securities etc. So if you know one or happen to be that person then please drop me a line.
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