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What We’re Reading

An occasional sampling of what’s catching the eye of investment professionals at Landaas & Company

Prolonged uncertainty over Europe has heightened expectations of bad outcomes to the point where we might not notice if the worst doesn’t happen, columnist John Bussey writes in The Wall Street Journal.

(Brian Kilb, executive vice president, chief operating officer)

“Portfolio selection,” says Nobel laureate Harry Markowitz, are the two most important words he ever wrote. Markowitz reveals in a New York Times profile how the mathematically based process for investing he helped develop can insulate investors from the turbulent vagaries of daily stock performance: “You can put yourself in a position to say, ho-hum.”

(Bob Landaas, president)

Contesting a notion that retirees choose to spend less as they age, a retirement planning scholar asserts that withdrawals based on a percentage of the retiree’s portfolio “builds in reasonable conservatism” without drastically underestimating spending needs.

(Art Rothschild, vice president)

At 60, his 401(k) money dwindled and squandered, Joe Nocera, a New York Times columnist, says his “original enthusiasm for investing was unwarranted.” He learns from a behavioral economist that most investors are overconfident, short-sighted trend followers. “Financial advisers – at least the good ones – are forever telling their clients to be disciplined, to create a diversified portfolio and to avoid trying to time the market,” Nocera writes. “Sound as that advice is, it’s just not how most humans behave.”

(Bob Landaas, president)

initially posted June 14, 2012

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