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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.

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.)

Warren Buffett, rock star
05/01/2004: 11:24 AM EDT
A mosh pit of millionaires -- MONEY's Jason Zweig reports from the Berkshire annual meeting.

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.

Get Rich Slowly
07/01/2003: TIME Magazine (book excerpt)
The Intelligent Investor (1949), by financial giant Benjamin Graham, is more relevant than ever, in a new edition updated with analysis by Jason Zweig.

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.]

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]

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.)

Here Come the Bogleheads
09/01/2001: Money Magazine, Vol. 30 No. 9
On A Sunny Summer Weekend, Dozens Of Strangers Gather To Hear Jack Bogle Preach Vanguard\'s Investing Gospel. Don\'t They Have Anything Better To Do?

“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.

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.

Back to school: websites for more advanced investors
06/06/2000: money.com
We're all getting pretty good at investing these days. Here are some websites to help you get to the next level.

Did You Beat the Market?
01/01/2000: Money Magazine, Vol. 29 No. 1 Special Forecast Issue 2000
Most investors who say they do are just kidding themselves.

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.

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.

Required reading
10/14/1999: money.com
Jason recommends a shelf-full of good books for the novice investor.

“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]

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.)

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.

05/01/1999: Money Magazine, Vol. 29 No. 5
Don\'t believe the hype about Internet stocks and funds.

Risks and Riches
04/01/1999: Money Magazine, Vol. 28 No. 4
Over the full sweep of time, mutual funds have shown that they are probably the greatest contribution to financial democracy ever devised. But like every democratic structure, they are far from perfect.

Look Back and Learn
04/01/1999: Money Magazine, Vol. 28 No. 4
Booms And Busts, Fashions And Binges, Have Been Part Of The Mutual Fund Experience Almost Since The Beginning.

Putting Investors First
What should matter more to mutual funds: investment results or marketing success? In this speech -- to a group of fund executives at a dinner held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Investment Company Institute – Jason warned that the fund industry was heading for disaster by trying to serve both masters. The speech infuriated the audience; several attendees stood up at the end and yelled that Jason had insulted their integrity. The trading scandal exposed in 2003 suggests that Jason’s doubts about their integrity were valid.

Why Do Mutual Funds Cost So Much?
06/01/1995: Morningstar Investment Conference
In this speech, Jason told the history of rising expenses over the years and reviewed – then dismantled – the fund industry’s justifications for the ever-higher flood of costs. If you want to learn more about how high fund expenses are, how they got there, and what to do about them, you may find that this speech (given while Jason was the mutual funds editor at Forbes) remains a useful resource.

The Top Beach-Blanket Investing Books
07/01/1997: Money Magazine
A short recommended reading list for investors on vacation.

Meet `Future You.` Like What You See?
03/26/2011: The Wall Street Journal
New `virtual reality` techniques could help solve the age-old problem of saving for retirement.

Why There Was No `Occupy Wall Street`200 Years Ago
10/24/2011: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
The gap between rich and poor was much smaller than today, even in the period that sparked a revolution.

The Extraordinary Popular Delusion of Believing What You Read
11/11/2011: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
Some of the best stories in Charles Mackay`s classic book `Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds` are just that: stories.

Why a Financial-Transaction Cost Could Backfire
12/13/2011: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
Imposing a transaction tax or `Tobin tax` on high-frequency traders sounds like a great idea. But it won`t work.

Kicking the Can Down the Road
12/21/2011: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
An essay on the phrase that suddenly has become the universal way to describe the lack of progress on the world`s financial problems.

A Dickens of a Reminder
02/07/2012: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
On Charles Dickens` 200th birthday, a look back at the financial wreckage he witnessed when he toured the U.S. in 1842.

Why China Loves Gold
03/30/2012: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
The 2000-year-old precedent for hoarding of gold by China`s central bank.

Is Your Mom a Hedge Fund?
06/12/2012: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
What does it mean when `households` invest in government bonds?

Was Willie Sutton Wrong?
06/14/2012: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
Why bother to rob banks anymore when they aren`t where the money is?

The Art of Financial Crisis
07/03/2012: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
In the Great Depression, Weimar Germany and Renaissance Italy, powerful art sprang from economic hard times. What about now?

Should Crimes of Capital Get Capital Punishment?
07/27/2012: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
A look at the history of the death penalty for financial wrongdoing.

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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