I'm an individual investor heavily influenced by Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger.
Munger's 1994 USC Business School Speech is something I think about a lot:
Over the long term, it's hard for a stock to earn a much better return than the business which underlies it earns. If the business earns 6% on capital over 40 years and you hold it for that 40 years, you're not going to make much different than a 6% return—even if you originally buy it at a huge discount. Conversely, if a business earns 18% on capital over 20 or 30 years, even if you pay an expensive looking price, you'll end up with a fine result.
Another very simple effect I very seldom see discussed either by investment managers or anybody else is the effect of taxes. If you're going to buy something which compounds for 30 years at 15% per annum and you pay one 35% tax at the very end, the way that works out is that after taxes, you keep 13.3% per annum.
In contrast, if you bought the same investment, but had to pay taxes every year of 35% out of the 15% that you earned, then your return would be 15% minus 35% of 15%—or only 9.75% per year compounded. So the difference there is over 3.5%. And what 3.5% does to the numbers over long holding periods like 30 years is truly eye-opening. If you sit back for long, long stretches in great companies, you can get a huge edge from nothing but the way that income taxes work.
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Cliff Wachtel, CPA, is currently the Director of Market Research, New Media and Training for Caesartrade.com, a fast growing forex and CFD broker. He covers a variety of topics including global market drivers, forex, currency hedged and diversified income investing, and is currently working on a unique project related to that asset class - MLPs.
He is also the author of The Sensible Guide To Forex, and publisher of thesensibleguidetoforex.com. Both the book and website are uniquely dedicated to providing safer, simpler ways for active traders and passive long term income investors to use forex markets to diversify out of currencies like the USD, EUR, JPY, and others that are being debased by central bank policies, and so hedge currency risk and boost returns.
Since the Great Financial Crisis began in 2007, Cliff was among the first financial writers to focus on stocks that provide steady, high yields currency diversification for insurance against currencies being steadily devalued. Articles focus on both top income stocks for exposure to multiple quality currencies, and safer, simpler less demanding types of longer term forex trades than commonly covered on other forex sites.
He also posts a variety of articles on topics ranging from weekly strategic global market analysis, conservative forex trading, assorted special reports, currency diversified income investing, binary options, and trader training articles via multiple websites. His home sites include: globalmarkets.anyoption.com, thesensibleguidetoforex.com, caesartrade.com, globalmarkets.com, and others. Most can also be found at leading financial websites like seekingalpha.com, businessinsider.com, and forex sites like forexfactory.com and fxstreet.com. His work is regularly translated into numerous languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, Turkish and Russian, Arabic, German, and Chinese, often with his express knowledge and permission!
He has appeared in a variety of offline publications including Forex Journal, and John Nyaradi’s book, Super Sectors, in which he was interviewed along with other market experts like Jim Rodgers, Dr.Marc Faber, John Mauldin, Robert Prechter, and Tom Lydon.
Prior to his current positions, he was Chief Analyst at avafx.com, and a 30+ year financial market veteran as investor, trader, writer, analyst and advisor to private clients and institutions. He attended Vassar College and Cornell University, and is a certified public accountant.
He’s married with 5 children and lives in Jerusalem, Israel, where he can follow Asian markets in the early morning, Europe through the workday, and the Americas at night.
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