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There are many biases that can come into play when making decisions; where one lives and works, where one grew up, and the company we keep (and have kept in the past) all play a meaningful and often not readily apparent role. These biases are inherent to being human – everyone has them, and while some are self-aware enough to acknowledge them, others are not. In the work we do...

In the third quarter, risky assets rallied across the globe; almost all major markets posted gains. Year to date, the S&P 500 has risen over 7.8%, the MSCI EAFE (USD) Index is up 1.7%, the MSCI EM(USD) Index is up 16%, and the Merrill Lynch High Yield Bond Index has appreciated 15.3%. Positive economic data, particularly in the US and China, a reprieve from new macroeconomic challenges, and broad investor...

In the second quarter of 2016, equity markets and investors’ expectations were rocked by the results of the UK’s vote to exit the European Union. Prior to the Brexit, the markets seemingly scaled a wall, overcoming obstinate, lingering concerns about lackluster global growth. The IMF projects that global GDP will grow 2.4% this year – a positive number, but one which leaves some market participants uneasy given the extraordinary stimulus...

In late 2007, Warren Buffett challenged hedge fund-of-funds Protege Partners to a bet. Mr. Buffett wagered $1,000,000 that an investment in the S&P 500 would be worth more after ten years than an equal investment in five fund-of-funds selected by Protege. The market was merciless from the start, delivering a global financial crisis that provided a very strong start for the hedge fund portfolio. Fast forward to today, and Mr....

US equity markets ended the first quarter of 2016 with a modest gain of 1.3% after recovering from their worst start in modern market history. Equity indices were battered in early January; market turmoil abroad, specifically in China, sparked a global move out of risk assets. Uncertainty surrounding the continued drop in oil prices, the health of the financial sector, and concerns over decelerating global growth held even the most...

Superman without Lex Luthor. Sherlock Holmes without Professor Moriarty. The Road Runner without Wile E. Coyote. Dorothy without the Wicked Witch of the West. Harry Potter without Voldemort. Sheriff Brody without Jaws. The Dalmatians without Cruella de Vil. Austin Powers without Dr. Evil.None of those work, not a single one. The simple fact is that heroes need villains, both for their own growth and development and to give life and...

Next month, Samuel Clemens turns 180. The man better known as Mark Twain excelled at social criticism, calling attention to class relations, oppression, slavery, and the failures of Reconstruction through his prolific library of important works. Of course, Twain was also known for his biting observational wit, reflected in a number of notable quotes delivered over his lifetime. One of his more famous – “Reports of my death have been...

How did you spend your money today? Maybe you started at a coffee shop, cringing slightly as you paid mid-single-digit dollars for a morning caffeine jolt. Then you filled your car with a tank of gas, regretting the fact that you seem to drive everywhere when walking or cycling would be healthier and less impactful on the climate. Wracked with guilt, you stopped at a bike shop and bought a...

In 2015, the S&P 500 Index posted a small gain while most global equity benchmarks ended the year in the red. Fixed income markets acted similarly, with lower risk securities flat for the year while their higher risk counterparts declined. For the first time since 2006, the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates, kicking off a new era in monetary policy. While the rate hike was hardly a surprise, it...

During the third quarter, volatility returned and risk assets around the globe declined dramatically as investors’ appetite for risk evaporated. The S&P 500 held up relatively well, declining by 6.4%, while the MSCI EAFE lost 10.2%; emerging markets fared the worst, with the MSCI EM Index declining by 17.8%. Investors’ uneasiness was bolstered by uncertainties surrounding the amount and timing of interest-rate hikes in the US and the prospect of...