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Who To Follow, Part II: Financial Advisors' Daily Digest

Mar. 01, 2018 9:26 AM ET11 Comments
SA For FAs profile picture
SA For FAs


  • Rob Marstrand takes sometimes bewildering concepts, such as discounted cash flow analysis, and makes them intelligible.
  • Roger Nusbaum routinely displays the least common quality in investing, which, of course, is common sense.
  • Eric Basmajian has a talent for observing and documenting economic changes, and then providing his opinion about their investment implications.

Growing up in an immigrant family of modest means, I had no knowledge of the stock market or investing, and no interest either. When my Dad tried to foist the business section of the newspaper on me, I pushed it right back.

It wasn’t until I married and my wife and I opened our wedding presents that I found myself endowed for the first time in my life with a surplus of money from our guests’ generous gifts, whereupon investing entered my mind as a worthy concept. I hurried over to the local bookstore, picked up a popular investing magazine with a cringe-worthy headline to the effect of “Top 10 Hottest Mutual Funds to Buy Now” and read it from cover to cover.

With the hubris of youth, I felt I really understood investing. I started looking at Value Line in the local library, and even had the temerity to write analyses with investment recommendations for a subscription newsletter I wrote nighttimes after work (the gig didn’t last that long).

All this happened long enough ago for traces of embarrassment to subside, but for lessons to emerge. Investing seems easy and exciting – read Money magazine once and you’ve got your PhD – but no one has figured out the magic ratio that entitles you to investment riches in perpetuity. It’s art and science both, and knowledge, experience and discipline are all required to succeed at it. Older and wiser, I prefer to think long and hard about investment decisions, and I value the guidance of those with demonstrated wisdom to offer.

Last October, I wrote an article called “3 Top SA Authors for FA Readers, Part I” in which I suggested readers would benefit from following Kevin Wilson, Jeff Miller and Jim Sloan in this regard. Several of

This article was written by

SA For FAs profile picture
GIL WEINREICH - Author of "The Mentor," a unique parable for financial advisors and those who aspire to become one. I have worked in the FA arena since 1997, and during that time, the New York State Society of CPAs twice awarded its prestigious Excellence in Financial Journalism award to me for a monthly column I wrote on business ethics. Previously, I reported on international news for Voice of America (where I was awarded a newsroom writing award) and prior to that worked as an editorial assistant at U.S. News and World Report. I live with my wife and children amidst the verdant and vibrant hills and dales of Jerusalem.

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Comments (11)

its really helpfull
natashaaboehm profile picture
well that is really helpfull as for me
SA For FAs profile picture
You're welcome mojako et al. And you're right -- learning is the name of the game!
Lily Jackson profile picture
You are really nice SA
03 Mar. 2018
Thank you very much Gil. Your insights are very helpful. The names you’ve mentioned are more than worthy of great learnings.
Good vibes to you.
SDS (Seductive Dividend Stocks) profile picture
Thank you, Gil.
It is hard to find real gems anywhere and SA is not exclusion. Most SA articles remind me Gunduz Aghayev "Attractive TV" piece (see http://bit.ly/2t8AEb2). I'll read other parts in http://bit.ly/2h1dECt.

David Jackson profile picture
Just wanted to add that by following someone, you can view their new articles and comments in the People section of the website, in the top nav.
The more smart people you follow, the better results you will have. Keep tabs on how their predictions come out though, some smart people are only broken clocks and will be right only occasionally. Pick the smart people who are right more often, reasonable predictions/arguments that rarely come true will hurt more than help.
hawkeyec profile picture
Let me add my voice to your support of Mr. Basmajian's emphasis on the need to understand trends in the business environment. Understanding the environment of business, and not just the financial environment, is critical to understanding what makes business firms successful. Success, of the kind Warren Buffett talks about so often, is dependent on a management's understanding of the expected behavior of its customers, its competitors, its suppliers and its other key stakeholders, as well as the expected behavior of the economy. The ability of a firm to create and sustain a competitive advantage is essential to its success, including the creation of the future value that will make the firm an attractive investment, Too often we are tempted to try to pick investments based on their share price trends. Those are results, dog tails as it were, and trends of results that do not account for the underlying reasons for the results are not going to be stable. What people like Buffett realize is that business outcomes are dependent on underlying business practice and a firm's response to its environment. It is the drivers of business outcomes we need to understand first. Benjamin Graham understood that, as does Buffett.
Rob Marstrand profile picture
Many thanks also, and exactly what Eric said above!
Eric Basmajian profile picture
Thank you, Gil! I am humbled to have made your list.

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