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How can I manage investment risk?
Information that will help you understand what risk really means. Hint: It’s nothing like what most financial “experts” say it is.

Jason's Answers

Your Money: Signs that your heart rules your head
10/01/2004: The Times of London
In this interview with the London Times, Jason discusses how emotion and reason interact when you invest.

Peter`s Uncertainty Principle
10/01/2004: Money Magazine
Peter Bernstein may know more about investing than anyone alive. And the most important thing he knows is this: He has no idea what the future will bring.

The Watchdog That Didn`t Bark
10/01/2004: Money Magazine
Ever since 2003 -- when New York State attorney general Eliot Spitzer exposed chronic corruption in the mutual fund business -- legislators, regulators and the media have been spewing out plans to fix the way funds are run. Is there a better way?

The way of the calm investor
08/01/2004: Money Magazine
Follow these five steps and you`ll make better investment decisions -- and agonize less over them.

There`s no stock like home
06/17/2004: Money Magazine
How should you diversify the risks of owning your house?

What Warren Buffett wants you to know
05/03/2004: 2:58 PM EDT
How do you learn from a master? Start by listening to what he has to say. (A summary of Warren Buffett and Charles Munger’s remarks at Berkshire Hathaway’s 2004 annual meeting.)

Folksy fun at Buffett meeting
05/01/2004: 11:37 AM EDT
The faithful flock to Omaha for Q&A with investor. Rock star Buffett sings, shows off boxer shorts. (A live report from the 2004 annual meeting of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.)

Tie me down and make me rich
05/22/2004: Money Magazine
Investing on autopilot is a powerful way to build wealth. So why is it so hard to persuade people to do it?

The Rip Van Winkle portfolio
03/19/2004: Money Magazine
Is it possible to invest so reliably that you won`t have to change anything for 20 years? It`s worth a try.

Benjamin Graham, the Human Brain, and the Bubble
10/01/2003: “Boom and Bust,” a volume of guest essays published by the European Asset Management Association (see pp. 160-164 in the PDF link below, or 145-149 in the print edition)
This article combines the insights of Ben Graham with the newest discoveries in neuroscience to shed light on the manic-depressive market of the past few years.

Lessons From The Greatest Investor Ever
07/01/2003: Money Magazine, Vol. 32 No. 7
As The New Edition Of The Intelligent Investor Shows, Ben Graham Never Goes Out Of Style

Momentum Mori
05/01/2003: Money Magazine, Vol. 32 No. 5
What should we make of Garrett Van Wagoner?

Is Your Brain Wired to Make You Rich? The Neuroscience of Financial Decision-Making
03/01/2003: Hoover Institution
This speech, which Jason presented at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, is a shorter and simpler version of a talk he gave earlier to the CFA Institute in 2002 [see May 14, 2002]. It’s an overview of how the human brain goes about making investment decisions – complete with colorful graphics of neurons firing away. [See also October, 2002.]

Get Smart About Sectors
12/01/2002: Money Magazine, Vol. 31 No. 13
There\'s a right way and a wrong way to use focused funds.

Are you wired for wealth?
10/01/2002: Money Magazine
What goes on inside your brain when you invest? Here’s how the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience can help make you smarter – and richer. [See also May 14, 2002 and March 18, 2003.]

How to Avoid the Next Stock Bomb
07/01/2002: TIME Magazine
Tips on picking stocks safely in a time of scandal.

Murphy Was an Investor
07/01/2002: Money Magazine, Vol. 31 No. 7
Why does it seem that whatever can go wrong will go wrong?

The Trust-No-One Investing Plan
06/01/2002: TIME Magazine
Corporate scandals got you scared of stocks? Try bonds, whose returns aren\'t as low as you think.

Money and the Mind: How Neuroscientists Are Cracking the Code of Investment Behavior
Jason explains the exciting new insights into financial decision-making that are coming from groundbreaking research in neuroscience. This presentation, to the annual meeting of the Association for Investment Management & Research, outlines the roles that different parts of the human brain play in estimating probabilities, assessing risk and reward, and integrating emotion with reason. [See also October, 2002, and March 18, 2003]

New Cause for Caution on Stocks
05/01/2002: TIME Magazine
Fresh research challenges the historical rate of return on equities. Look to bonds for more balance.

Online chat at Morningstar.com
03/01/2002: www.morningstar.com
Among other things, Jason discusses investment risk, diversification, index funds, market timing, and how the mutual fund industry should get its act together. (Note: free registration required.)

What\'s Eating You
12/01/2001: Money Magazine, Vol. 30 No. 13 Special Double Issue
How to cope with investing risk after September 11th, when everything seems uncertain.

The Aftermath of September 11th: Endurance and Optimism in the Culture and History of Wall Street
11/01/2001: Museum of American Financial History
In this panel discussion sponsored by the Museum of American Financial History and moderated by Myron Kandel of CNN, Jason puts the trauma of terror in a historical and psychological context. Hint: the people who said “Everything has changed” were wrong.

How September 11th hit funds
11/22/2001: Money Magazine
Some top fund managers relate their experiences on a tragic day.

What can we learn from history?
09/21/2001: www.cnn.com and Money Magazine
In the wake of September 11th, history holds an important lesson: Disasters don`t have a lasting impact on stocks.

“Fat Tails, Thin Ice”
06/01/2001: Morningstar
In this speech, the keynote address to the 2001 Morningstar Investment Conference, Jason talks about how financial planners misunderstand and misuse the lessons of history: They cite academic studies “proving” investment theories without ever reading them; they extrapolate past data without questioning the quality and durability of the numbers; and they fail to communicate investment risk in terms clients can understand. Jason offers suggestions on how to do better.

Wall Street\'s Wisest Man
06/01/2001: Money Magazine, Vol. 30 No. 6
Getting rich off stocks is simple, says Charles Ellis. Here\'s how.

Do you sabotage yourself?
05/01/2001: Money Magazine, Vol. 30 No. 5
Daniel Kahneman has done more than anyone else to explain why most of us make so many mistakes as investors--and what we can do about it.

Investing on PBS
01/01/2001: PBS
A chat with Betsy Karetnick of PBS’s “That Money Show” about what went wrong for investors in 2000 and how to put those lessons to work. View the video here:

Mutual Funds
11/01/2000: PBS
An interview with Betsy Karetnick of PBS’s “That Money Show” on the basics of investing in mutual funds. View the video here:

The Trouble With Humans
11/01/2000: Money Magazine, Vol. 29 No. 12
A look at the neuroscience of investing: Why rats and pigeons might make better investors than people do.

Hunting eggs
09/14/2000: money.com
How to diversify away the risk of too much company stock.

Performance Review: Part 2
07/25/2000: money.com
I've been answering your questions in Mutual Fund Mailbag for just about a year now, and I think I've gotten things mostly right. Just to be sure, though, I've asked some of the investing world's top minds for their two cents. In this three-part series, I square off with Vanguard's John Bogle, efficient-market theorist William Bernstein, and finance professor Terrance Odean on the issues you've written in most about. This week: Bernstein gives me a bashing.

Ground Zero
06/29/2000: money.com
Zero-coupon bonds are a good way to lock in a rate of return. Just be prepared for a rocky ride.

The Best Investor You\'ve Never Heard Of
06/01/2000: Money Magazine, Vol. 29 No. 6
From A Nondescript Apartment In Des Moines, Joseph Rosenfield--A Longtime Pal Of Warren Buffett-- Has Turned $11 Million Into $1 Billion. Who Is He, And How Did He Do It?

High concentration
04/11/2000: money.com
The Vanguard Growth Index fund has nearly half of its assets in just 10 stocks. How much is too much?

Questioning your faith
03/02/2000: money.com
Should you abandon those once-great value funds?

The case for boring bonds
02/17/2000: money.com
What good is 6% a year when you can make 6% an hour?

Diversification overrated? Not a chance
01/26/2000: money.com
Jason takes issue with an article in Worth Magazine questioning the value of diversifying your investments.

Dumbed down too far
01/18/2000: money.com
Lifecycle funds offer instant diversification, but they have their drawbacks.

Diversity training
01/06/2000: money.com
You can't know when tech stocks will end their bull run. But you should start preparing now.

Tying yourself to the mast
12/14/1999: money.com
As the market gets more and more volatile, Jason gives practical tips on how to avoid the often-irresistible call of panic buying and selling.

Why buy bonds?
12/03/1999: money.com
These days, everybody seems to be filling their portfolio with nothing but stocks. Jason explains why this can be a risky strategy.

The Tyranny of Style
12/01/1999: Money Magazine Vol. 28 No. 12 Special Double Issue
Is a mutual fund's label more important than its returns?

The risk is not in our funds, but in ourselves
11/19/1999: money.com
Jason counsels a reader that the best way to measure risk is not by looking at betas and standard deviations, but by taking a hard look in the mirror.

Don't try this with your 401(k)
11/04/1999: money.com
Why loading up your retirement plan with shares in even a high-flying employer is a dangerous thing to do.

Behavioral Finance: What Good Is It, Anyway?
10/01/1999: Harvard University
Behavioral finance – the study of investing psychology – is getting tons of attention. The trendiest money managers all say they use behavioral finance to exploit the mistakes of irrational investors. In this speech to a conference at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Jason argues that behavioral finance is not a window onto the behavior of other people, but a mirror that shows our own shortcomings; we should use it not to take advantage of other stupid investors, but rather to make ourselves smarter investors.

1974 and 1999: History Turned Upside-Down
In this speech to the Foundation Financial Officers Group (a club for major institutional investors), Jason looked back exactly 25 years to late 1974 -- when the outlook for investing was the polar opposite of late 1999. With internet mania at its most euphoric, Jason warned that investors always get carried away at market extremes. This speech combines a historical viewpoint with insights from behavioral finance to create a perspective that may be useful even today.

Selling into Y2K
09/29/1999: money.com
Should you sell your stocks to sidestep a possible Y2K computer meltdown? Some advice for the panic-stricken.

A Short Primer
09/03/1999: money.com
If you absolutely, positively have to short the market, Jason shows you how.

“Expert Q&A”
08/01/1999: morningstar.com
In this online chat, Jason fields questions from Morningstar users about everything from stock-picking “systems” to index funds, how and why to use a broker, investing in corporate bankruptcies, saving for college, the fine points of bond funds, and the ethics of financial journalism. [Conversation 676: in the “Jump to #” box, enter 676]

Day Trading
08/26/1999: CNN
Transcript of a CNN broadcast in which Jason calls day trading “the most effective weapon ever devised to commit financial suicide.”

False Profits
08/01/1999: Money Magazine, Vol. 28 No. 8
You now have all the tools you need to pick your own pocket. (A critique of the stock-picking “strategies” of the Motley Fool.)

In defense of diversification
07/28/1999: money.com
Zweig answers critics who wonder why anyone would possibly want to invest in anything other than U.S. stocks.

Fools and their money
07/21/1999: money.com
Reaction is swift, strong (and more than a little foolish) to Zweig's Money column criticizing the Motley Fool.

Public Radio's "Marketplace"
02/01/1998: “Marketplace”
An interview with David Brancaccio of Public Radio’s “Marketplace” on stock-market volatility and the importance of patience.

The crash of 1987: a decade later
10/01/1997: Public Radio’s “Marketplace”
On the tenth anniversary of the Crash of 1987, Jason talks with David Brancaccio of Public Radio’s “Marketplace” about investing for the long term in nervous markets. Transcript available here:

Who's recommending your stock?
01/10/2001: money.com
New research dishes dirt on Wall Street analysts. Plus: Tips for daytraders (if you must play that game).

How many stocks do you need?
01/30/2001: money.com
Probably a lot more than you think, if you want a diversified portfolio.

Give diversity a chance
02/14/2001: money.com
A lot of individual investors hate spreading their bets. But it works.

The trouble with timing
12/01/2003: Money Magazine
We\'re always told to buy low and sell high. Sounds simple and it makes sense. So why is such an easy rule so hard to follow? (Note: Full online access to this article is available only to MONEY Magazine subscribers.)

The Oracle Speaks
05/01/2005: cnn.com
Warren Buffett speaks to the faithful at Berkshire Hathaway\'s annual meeting.

Meet America`s Most Reliable Fund Manager
12/01/1995: Money Magazine
A profile of Shelby Davis that highlights the difference between short-term flash and long-term success.

12 Deadly Fund Myths -- and How to Profit from Them
02/01/1996: Money Magazine
Like the Ancient Greeks, fund investors believe in myths. Here we debunk the biggest and give you advice to make you a richer shareholder.

When to Desert a Fallen Idol
02/01/1996: Money Magazine
Is your fund manager just in a slump, or has he turned into a chump? Here are some rules for knowing when to stay and when to walk away.

The Hottest Funds Are Too Big for Their Britches
04/01/1996: Money Magazine
Ballooning mutual funds are great for the folks who run them, but they may be a bust for you. This article is an early look at the problem of how bigger funds produce smaller returns.

When to Take a Wild Ride on a New Fund Rocket
07/01/1996: Money Magazine
Brand-new funds often go straight to the moon -- or crash. This is a guide on what you need to know before blasting off on one of them.

Should You Wish upon the Stars to Pick Funds?
07/01/1996: Money Magazine
A column explaining how the Morningstar mutual-fund ratings work.

Which Funds Are Too Hot
08/01/1996: Money Magazine
A look at why so-called hot funds so often end up going cold.

A Middle-of-the-Road Fund Will Make It Possible for You to Coast Past Bulls and Bears
09/01/1996: Money Magazine
Why an apparently mediocre mutual fund can end up making you more money than a seeming superstar.

How to Build a Portfolio
12/01/1996: Money Magazine
Advice on how to assemble a mutual-fund portfolio one building block at a time.

When the Stock Market Plunges...Will You Be Brave, or Will You Cave?
01/01/1997: Money Magazine
An exploration of the psychology of investment risk.

Funds that Really Make Money for Their Investors
04/01/1997: Money Magazine
An exploration of one of the most puzzling gaps in the investing world: why mutual fund investors make less money than the mutual funds they own.

Learn from the Big Bad Bear
05/01/1997: Money Magazine
Lessons from veteran investors who survived the crash of 1973-1974.

Bond Funds Are a Hit
06/01/1997: Money Magazine
A buying guide and ownership manual for bond funds.

Will Index Funds Blow up on You?
09/01/1997: Money Magazine
A look at the arguments against indexing, and why they do not hold water.

Watch out for the Year-End Fund Flimflam
11/01/1997: Money Magazine
How do mutual fund managers so often manage to beat the market on the last day of the year? A look at the dirty little secret called windowdressing.

Is That New Fund a Hard-Boiled Survivor -- Or Humpty-Dumpty?
12/01/1997: Money Magazine
How to tell if a newly-hatched mutual fund is naturally good or has been warmed up by incubation.

Stocks or Funds?
04/01/1998: Money Magazine
How to do decide whether (and where) mutual funds or individual stocks will work better for you.

Don`t Believe the Bull: Bond Funds Do Have a Place
06/01/1998: Money Magazine
Why almost every investor can benefit from owning a bond fund.

The Global Thinker
06/01/1998: Money Magazine
A brief profile of money manager and investment thinker Gary Brinson.

How to Use the News and Tune Out the Noise
07/01/1998: Money Magazine
Evidence that investors who pay more attention to the latest news do not earn higher returns. In fact, they earn lower returns.

Diversification Pitfalls
10/01/1998: Money Magazine
Even savvy investors can mess up a good portfolio -- and remember, you are one of the eggs in your own basket.

Invest Globally -- Still
12/01/1998: Money Magazine
Sure, the numbers are scary, but staying home is risky too. Why everyone should own an international fund.

Confessions of a Fund Pro
02/01/1999: Money Magazine
A manager explains how the deck is stacked against you: a chat with the pathologically candid Ted Aronson. (The second link offers a more complete transcript.)

How Losing Less Can Cost You More
06/01/2005: Money Magazine
Why stop-loss orders are often better for brokers than for investors

A Tale of Two Washingtons
11/01/2004: Money Magazine
What you can learn from the drastically different ways Washington Mutual and Expeditors International of Washington communicate with investors

Swept Away by Index Funds
12/01/2004: Money Magazine
Is fundamental indexing the answer to a fundamental problem?

Stupid Number Tricks
10/01/2005: Money Magazine
What the science of risk perception has to teach investors.

Mergers Are Hot. You Should Stay Cool.
04/01/2005: Money Magazine
Some rules on how to invest, and how not to invest, in takeover stocks.

How to Beat Hedge Funds
12/01/2006: Money Magazine
Why the typical investor is better off without a hedge fund.

When You Wish Upon a Star
03/01/2007: Money Magazine
A new study says Morningstar`s ratings do indeed predict performance. The reason may surprise you.

Mr. Worst-Case Scenario
05/01/2007: Money Magazine
Robert Shiller called the tech stock crash just as NASDAQ peaked. Where does he think the real estate market is headed now? Uh-oh.

You Can Handle a Crash Better than You Think
05/01/2007: Money Magazine
Why the fear of losing money usually feels worse than actually losing it.

The Man Who Explained It All
06/01/2007: Money Magazine
Bill Sharpe`s pioneering theory on the interplay between investment risk and return won him a Nobel Prize. Now he wants to help you use his work to make better financial decisions.

The Right Way to Handle a Surprise
06/01/2007: Money Magazine
Why a one-penny shortfall in earnings makes Wall Street go crazy, and how to keep yourself sane.

Markets Where Only Fools Rush In
08/01/2007: Money Magazine
Why emerging markets are not a `no-brainer.`

How Many Stocks Should You Own?
09/01/2007: Money Magazine
The answer is a lot more, and a lot fewer, than you probably think.

Your Money and Your Brain
09/01/2007: Money Magazine
An excerpt on the neuroeconomics of greed and fear from Jason Zweig`s new book.

Inside the Mind of the Older Investor
11/01/2007: Money Magazine
As the brain ages, it perceives risk differently. That can make you money -- or cost you a bundle.

Why to Steer Clear of the New Gold Rush
04/01/2008: Money Magazine
Stampeding into commodities right now is one of the stupidest things an investor could do.

Why the Obvious Isn’t Inevitable (How to Handle a Market Gone Mad)
09/16/2008: The Wall Street Journal
The future is often least knowable when it seems most certain.

For Investors, Dealing with a Loss of Control
10/07/2008: The Wall Street Journal
How uncertainty and panic mess with your investing mind.

Take a Deep Breath, Turn off the TV, Calm Yourself
10/18/2008: The Wall Street Journal
Advice and techniques for controlling fear in a fearsome time.

1931 and 2008: Will Market History Repeat Itself?
11/22/2008: The Wall Street Journal
Where is the bottom? Should you bail out before it is too late?

Smart Money Takes a Dive on Alternative Assets
01/17/2009: The Wall Street Journal
How the world`s largest -- and supposedly smartest -- investors got suckered on private equity and hedge funds.

1930s Lessons: Brother, Can You Spare a Stock?
02/14/2009: The Wall Street Journal
Just in case we are in for a repeat of the Great Depression, it can`t hurt to look back and see which stocks did best in the worst of times.

As Stock Losses Loom, Don’t Throw a ‘Hail Mary’
02/21/2009: The Wall Street Journal
Why desperate investors do desperate things, and how to avoid joining in.

How Managing Risk with ETFs Can Backfire
02/28/2009: The Wall Street Journal
Why the hottest investments around -- leveraged ETFs -- are too hot for just about anybody.

Tempest-Tossed? Take Some Control
03/04/2009: The Wall Street Journal
Instead of plunging in and out with both feet, take some baby steps.

‘Rebalancing’ Your Portfolio Can Be a Tough Ride
03/07/2009: The Wall Street Journal
Selling some of whatever`s gone up and buying some of whatever`s gone down is a good idea. But it can`t work miracles.

Did Your College Savings Plan Blow up on You?
03/21/2009: The Wall Street Journal
How 529 plans delivered just the wrong kind of education to their investors.

Will Leveraged ETFs Put Cracks in the Market Close?
04/18/2009: The Wall Street Journal
A look at whether leveraged ETFs may be responsible for higher market volatility.

For Mother’s Day, Give Her Reins to the Portfolio
05/09/2009: The Wall Street Journal
What men could learn about investing from women.

If You Think the Worst Is Over, Take Benjamin Graham’s Advice
05/23/2009: The Wall Street Journal
In the market rebound, the worst investments have had the best returns. Don`t get carried away.

What a Bear Market Might Teach Us
11/25/2008: The Wall Street Journal Online
A blog post on how hard times might change America for the better.

Remembrances: Peter L. Bernstein, 1919-2009 Risk-Management Pioneer and Best-Selling Author Never Stopped Insisting Future Is Unknowable
06/13/2009: The Wall Street Journal
An obituary for the investment philosopher Peter Bernstein.

Buy-and-Hold Is Dead. Long Live Buy-and-Hold
09/11/2009: The Wall Street Journal Online
If buy-and-hold is dead, then what is alive?

Should a Shrinking Dollar Worry You?
09/12/2009: The Wall Street Journal
What can American investors do to protect themselves from the declining value of the dollar?

Don`t Let a Market Crash Hit You at the Finish Line
10/10/2009: The Wall Street Journal
Does the risk of owning stocks really decline over time?

How to Ignore the Yes-Man in Your Head
11/14/2009: The Wall Street Journal
Why confirmation bias is such a problem for investors, and what to do about it.

More Stocks Do Not Always Make a Portfolio Safer
11/21/2009: The Wall Street Journal
New research reveals a surprise: Some portfolios are riskier with 20 or 30 stocks than they were with just one.

Reach for Stock Yield, and You Might Just Get Bitten
12/12/2009: The Wall Street Journal
The difference between fixed income and dividend income, and why it matters.

The Financial Year in Review
12/25/2009: Public Radio
A roundtable discussion with Tess Vigeland of Public Radio`s Marketplace.

Tech Companies Won, Investors Lost
03/10/2010: The Wall Street Journal
Ten years on, the lesson of the Internet bubble: Uncertainty is good.

Behavioral Finance: What Can Investors Learn from Their Mistakes?
02/16/2010: CFA Institute
A video discussion, with Gregory Seals of the CFA Institute, on the pitfalls of risk perception, where investors went wrong, and how Wall Street needs to change. (Free registration required.)

What Makes a Good Investor?
03/31/2010: Blue Marble Research
An audio interview with Vinny Catalano of Blue Marble Research.

Consuelo Mack WealthTrack
04/02/2010: Consuelo Mack WealthTrack
A joint interview on public television, with Charles D. Ellis, on the lessons of the crash.
http://wealthtrack-appletv.blip.tv/file/3435887/ ;

Time to Take Stock of the Recent Market Rallies
04/03/2010: The Wall Street Journal
When stocks go up, your enthusiasm needs to go down.

Full Disclosure: Most Risks Hide in Plain Sight
04/24/2010: The Wall Street Journal
Would better disclosure have discouraged investors from buying from Goldman Sachs?

When the Global Debt Shuffle Hits Home
05/08/2010: The Wall Street Journal
What the Greek crisis and the market swoon are telling us.

When ‘Stop-Loss’ Trades Backfire on Investors
05/15/2010: The Wall Street Journal
A technique intended to keep you safe can put you in danger when you least expect it. A news story with Mary Pilon and Karen Blumenthal.

Why One Legendary Investor Is More Worried Than Ever
05/22/2010: The Wall Street Journal
The great value investor Seth Klarman explains why being smart in one dimension may no longer be enough.

Back to the Future: Lessons from the Flash Crash of 1962
05/29/2010: The Wall Street Journal
May 6, 2010 was not the first time the stock market had a mysterious meltdown.

Hazardous Waters: Should Investors Bet on Rising Risk?
07/03/2010: The Wall Street Journal
Trying to make money off volatility is all the rage -- a likely sign that volatility is about to wane.

Another Can`t Miss Deal That Can Miss Spectacularly
07/24/2010: The Wall Street Journal
A look under the hood of `secondary-market income annuities.`

Downside Protection Has Its Downsides
09/04/2010: The Wall Street Journal
What your insurance agent might not tell you about equity-indexed annuities.

The Bond `Bubble`: Are Small Investors Taking Too Big a Bet?
10/02/2010: The Wall Street Journal
Is it the little guy or the so-called ``smart money``who is taking the risk of rising interest rates?

The Credentials Racket
10/16/2010: The Wall Street Journal
Those fancy initials after your financial adviser`s name might not be as impressive as they seem. With Mary Pilon.

Manias and Meddlers: The Secret Past of the Chinese Stock Market
10/23/2010: The Wall Street Journal
Government-controlled market bubbles in China date back more than a century, and in the past they didn`t end well.

Have You Herd? Your Adviser Is Scared to Set You Straight
10/30/2010: The Wall Street Journal
Do financial advisers rebalance their clients` accounts -- or unbalance them?

The Man Who Called the Financial Crisis -- 70 Years Early
11/6/2010: The Wall Street Journal
A look at economist Melchior Palyi, who predicted how regulatory hubris and bungled credit ratings could lead to a financial crisis.

Are ETFs a Menace -- Or Just Misunderstood?
11/13/2010: The Wall Street Journal
Do exchange-traded funds pose a ``systemic risk``?

Why Regulators Can`t Keep `Safe` Bond Funds from Sinking
01/15/2011: The Wall Street Journal
What makes rule violations that are obvious in hindsight so hard to spot in foresight?

How Now, 36,000 Dow? The Ominous Undertone of Rallies
02/12/2011: The Wall Street Journal
The folks who brought us``Dow 36,000`` at the peak of the last bull market now warn of a bear market.

Once Bitten, Twice Bold: Look Who`s Buying Stocks Now
02/26/2011: The Wall Street Journal
Meet the sheepish bulls: people who got out of the stock market when it crashed and who are tiptoeing back in after it has risen.

The Next Google -- or the Next Debacle?
04/09/2011: The Wall Street Journal
Regulators are loosening the rules under which private companies can reach out to investors. Watch out.

Bonds Shrug Off Revised Outlook
04/19/2011: The Wall Street Journal
As Standard & Poor`s downgrades the credit rating of the U.S., what is likely to happen?

Hedging Your Home Value: The Greatest Idea Never Sold
05/14/2011: The Wall Street Journal
The urgency -- and puzzling difficulty -- of protecting against falling real-estate values.

Hi Ho, Silver: Some Fund Investors Could End Up Tarnished
04/23/2011: The Wall Street Journal
The hazards of buying a silver fund at a premium to its net asset value.

Conflict of Interest? Moi?
10/6/2012: The Wall Street Journal
What will the first examination of conflicts on Wall Street in a decade turn up?

What Price Smooth Sailing?
12/03/2011: The Wall Street Journal
A look at `stable-value` funds in retirement plans.

Borrowing Against Yourself
09/22/2012: The Wall Street Journal
Before you take out a margin loan on your brokerage account, remember that you shouldn`t borrow unless you`re prepared to lower your other risks.

The Debt Crisis: If Treasury Bonds Aren`t Safe, What Is?
07/16/2011: The Wall Street Journal
With new doubts about Uncle Sam`s debts, a look at what the new safe havens might be.

Stocks Are Cheaper, But They Aren`t Cheap
08/06/2011: The Wall Street Journal
Fear is the best fertilizer for future bull markets.

Forget About Black Swans, the One Floating Ahead Is Neon
07/23/2011: The Wall Street Journal
Some risks are so blindingly obvious -- like, say, a decay in the quality of U.S. creditworthiness -- that investors close their eyes to them.

The Extraordinary Popular Delusion of Bubble Spotting
11/05/2011: The Wall Street Journal
It turns out the author of `Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds`was an apologist for a bubble that unfolded before his very eyes.

Caging Raging Contagion
11/12/2011: The Wall Street Journal
With markets around the world moving in lockstep, which investments offer some semblance of diversification?

Safe at Home? Not in a 401(k)
11/19/2011: The Wall Street Journal
When the markets get shaky, investors add more money to their own company`s stock.

Is `Derisking` Even Riskier?
02/25/2012: The Wall Street Journal
When you `de-risk` your portfolio, be sure you aren`t just replacing old risks with new ones.

`Junk` ETFs: Tread Lightly
03/17/2012: The Wall Street Journal
Has the enormous growth of high-yield ETFs distorted the market for junk bonds?

In New Funds, Old Flaws
04/14/2012: The Wall Street Journal
Exchange-traded notes sound like exchange-traded funds, but their fees -- and behavior -- can be nothing alike.

Polishing the Dimon Principle
05/12/2012: The Wall Street Journal
Never forget the words of Richard Feynman: `You must not fool yourself -- and you are the easiest person to fool.`

Could Computers Protect the Market From Computers?
05/26/2012: The Wall Street Journal
With one electronic meltdown after another in today`s high-speed markets, is human oversight outmoded?

High Rates? Are You Delirious?
07/14/2012: The Wall Street Journal
A look at the Cornerstone funds, which give investors their own money back and call it `yield.`

Want to Buy a Private Stock?
09/08/2012: The Wall Street Journal
Private companies, for the first time in decades, can pitch their securities to the general public -- just as new studies document the financial illiteracy of the general public.

Investor, Take This Test
10/18/2011: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
An alternative to the dopey `risk-tolerance` questionnaires that financial advisers foist on their clients.

The Vulnerable Older Investor
11/10/2011: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
A new survey shows the alarming risks of fraud faced by aging investors.

The Supercommittee as a Risk Factor
11/21/2011: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
As the government struggles to get the U.S. debt and deficit under control, companies have started pointing to it as a `risk factor` in their financial statements.

Who Needs Financial Planners, Anyway?
11/29/2011: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
New analysis of demographic data shows who is most likely to use financial advice.

Enron, 10 Years After
12/05/2011: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
On the 10th anniversary of Enron`s bankruptcy, what are the lessons for investors? An interview with a former senior Enron manager.

Can You Sum Up Your Investing Philosophy in 10 Words?
01/27/2012: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
Famous investors -- and regular readers -- boil their beliefs down to 10 words or less.

Why Investors Can`t Escape `Risk`
04/06/2012: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
What the derivation and history of the word `risk` can tell us about the hazards of investing.

The China Crackdown
04/12/2012: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
U.S. regulators hit hard at alleged cases of securities fraud by Chinese-based companies.

Searching for the First `Bubble`
04/19/2012: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
The history and derivation of the word `bubble,` and what investors can learn from it.

Generation Why?
06/27/2012: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
A plea for financial marketers to knock it off with the Generation X, Gen Y and millennial stuff.

How Practical Is `Tactical`?
11/03/2012: The Wall Street Journal
`Tactical Asset Allocation` funds are being promoted as the cure for market crashes. Look before you leap.

Buffett Is Out Of Step
05/07/2012: The Wall Street Journal
What does the underperformance of Berkshire Hathaway say about the financial markets?

Are You Brilliant, or Lucky?
12/08/2012: The Wall Street Journal
Why are investors pouring money into actively managed bond funds despite the massive evidence that bond index funds will do better?

How Huge Returns Mess With Your Mind
01/05/2013: The Wall Street Journal
What makes compound returns so hard for many people to understand, and what to do about that.

How Apple`s Fall Bit Bondholders, Too
01/26/2013: The Wall Street Journal
People who thought they were buying short-term bonds ended up paying an arm and a leg for Apple stock as it plunged.

It`s Hard to Limit U.S. Stock Exposure
02/02/2013: The Wall Street Journal
Do the investors barging into high-yield bonds realize that their performance closely tracks the stock market?

A `Bucket List` for Better Diversification
02/09/2013: The Wall Street Journal
A look at `differsification,`or how to protect your portfolio in different economic scenarios.

Is Anything Cheap?
03/09/2013: The Wall Street Journal
With stock and bond markets up sharply around the globe, what`s an investor to do?

What You Can Do to Steer Clear of a `Custody` Battle
03/16/2013: The Wall Street Journal
Are the custodians that hold your financial assets in safekeeping as safe as everyone thinks?

The Bond Market Can`t Be This Easy to Beat -- Can It?
04/12/2013: The Wall Street Journal
The simple explanation for why so many bond funds are outperforming: They are taking risks that their investors are going to regret.

Risky Business: The Quiz That Could Steer You Wrong
05/04/2013: The Wall Street Journal
The typical `risk-tolerance quiz` is garbage. Here`s why -- and what to do about it.

Buying a Piece of Your Adviser
05/18/2013: The Wall Street Journal
Some investors aren`t just investing with financial advisers; they\'re investing in them.

The Japan Syndrome: Rising Rates and Risky Exposures
05/25/2013: The Wall Street Journal
When the Tokyo stock market tanks 7%, what does it mean for U.S. investors?

How Funky Is Your 401(k)?
06/01/2013: The Wall Street Journal
Here come unconventional bond funds for retirement investors. Think twice.

Apple Smashed
01/24/2013: WSJ Total Return Blog
Apple loses $59.5 billion in a day.

Differsification: The Sequel
02/15/2013: WSJ Total Return Blog
More on building portfolios that are diversified by basic risks, not by assets: lessons from Harry Browne and the `Permanent Portfolio` can teach.

Buying a Piece of Your Adviser: Not for Everybody
05/22/2013: WSJ Total Return Blog
Individual investors aren`t the only ones who invest in the companies that manage their money. But you still should proceed with caution.

Other Resources

Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letters

Link to Warren Buffett's annual letters to shareholders, 1977 to date. If you want to learn how to think logically and clearly about all the issues that confront investors -- from inflation to stock options to diversification to index funds to the true meaning of risk -- Buffett's brilliant letters are the first (and often the final) word. He will never steer you wrong, and the learning is free and without obligation.

Efficient Frontier

Link to William J. Bernstein's "Efficient Frontier" online newsletter, where he serves up opinion that is, at one and the same time, both biting and mathematically rigorous, both challenging and fun to read. Full of righteous anger at the knaves and nincompoops who dish out most financial advice, Bernstein is an invigorating breath of fresh air.

Bogle Financial Markets Research Center

This site, featuring John C. Bogle's speeches and research papers, enables you to keep up with the latest thinking of the founder of the Vanguard Group. Jack Bogle is probably the best friend the individual investor has ever had, and the materials archived here are rich with insights into how the money management business really works and how you can take control of your own financial destiny.

Return to Your Questions by Topic

JasonZweig.com is my place to tell you what I think about a whole lot of investing stuff. I’m the only one responsible for my opinions, but I can’t guarantee they’ll always be right. If you don’t like what I say or it turns out to be wrong, I’m sorry; you can’t sue me. The material you find here is not meant as specific investing advice for you, and if you use it that way and something goes wrong, that’s your problem, not mine. To get individualized investing advice, you need to do your own homework or else hire a financial advisor, a tax professional, or a lawyer to do it for you (and even then, you’d better watch like a hawk!). If you think anything on this website is an invitation for you to buy or sell any investment, you need to get your head examined. What’s more, I’m not soliciting business of any kind, because I don’t have any business to solicit. (Believe it or not, I don’t want your money.) I’ll do my best to avoid any conflicts of interest in running this website, but I don’t have silvery wings and a halo, and somebody might manage to corrupt me. If that happens, it’s your job to notice and to be disgusted by it. In short, none of my best efforts to be honest, sensible, and trustworthy exempt you from your constant duties to treat what I say with the same skepticism you should treat anyone’s pontification about investing. I wish you good luck!

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