#SFTW: Shopping lists are fine for groceries, not for stocks

Posted by Robin Powell on October 23, 2015



Jim Cramer has one of the most famous faces on US television. A former hedge fund manager and best-selling author, he’s now a full-time celebrity who imparts his stock-picking expertise to anyone who will listen. And they do. The CNBC presenter is fast approaching a million followers on Twitter — many of them presumably hanging on his every stock tip.

The odd thing about Cramer’s status as America’s most famous stockpicking guru — and there’s no gentle way of saying this — is that he’s frankly not very good at picking stocks. Sure, like most financial pundits he’s had his moments. But when you analyse the risk-adjusted returns of the stocks he’s recommended, they’ve actually been no better than those delivered by the S&P 500 for most of his career.

I say most, because Cramer’s been having a bad run. Nothing strange about that. Media pundits have losing streaks all the time, and in most cases, their employers aren’t too fussed about checking whether their predictions turn out to be accurate or not.

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What you may have missed..

Yes, index funds fall as markets fall. So do active funds — only further

How should the Investment Association handle its crisis of conscience?

The problem is not with conflicted journalists but financial journalism itself

Don’t mess with the (reversion to the) mean machine

Morgan Housel’s advice for his baby son is a must-read for all

Hedge fund industry on its knees? It’s never been in ruder health



Risk — what it is and what it isn’t (James Osborne)

Why the maths behind global strategies is compelling (Gestaltu)

Warning to smart beta fans — don’t overdo those factors! (Larry Swedroe)

Trading stocks is much harder than you think. Here’s why (Michael Batnick)

Economists, amateur or otherwise, often make bad investors (Wesley Gray)

Our amygdala is useful most of the time but it can wreck our investments (Mark Hebner)

Lessons in investing from G.K. Chesterton (Jason Zweig)

Mid-50s with nothing saved for retirement? You’re not alone (Carol Hymowitz)


The industry..

Closet indexing — ‘active’ fund management’s dirty secret (Cam Hui)

The ‘Twitter ETF’ would be funny if it weren’t so dangerous (Chuck Jaffe)

Fund manager pay is out of control — on both sides of the Atlantic (Patrick Jenkins)

10 sports terms that help to explain Wall Street (Anthony Isola)

Hiring an adviser? Here are 3 questions you need to ask (Mitch Tuchman)


And finally.. a big Thank You!

I’d like to thank everyone who’s helped to make this blog such a success. Considering it’s only been up and running for a few weeks, I’m thrilled with the progress made. Thanks to everyone who’s subscribed, offered feedback and suggested topics to cover. But, most of all, thanks to everyone who has shared my posts via social media. That ultimately is how a blog grows, and I’m truly grateful.


Whatever you’re up to, enjoy your weekend.


(Featured image: U.S. Department of Agriculture)


Robin Powell

Robin is a journalist and campaigner for positive change in global investing. He runs Regis Media, a niche provider of content marketing for financial advice firms with an evidence-based investment philosophy. He also works as a consultant to other disruptive firms in the investing sector.


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