Episode 15: The Descent of Growth (with apologies to Charles Darwin)

Where did all the dividends go? In this episode, I explain how dividend-free growth investing became the norm in the US stock market. For dividend-focused investors, how we got to this state of affairs should be of some interest. And they make take some comfort in the realization that cashless investment is to a great extent a historical, and I would argue, a logical anomaly. For growth investors content with the current situation, knowing whence they came serves at least some utility, even if I do not believe that those conditions will persist.

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Episode #14: Jeff Brown the Grocer joins me to discuss how to operate in a very tough business.

Treat your investments like holdings in actual businesses is a common invocation on this podcast. To that end, today I talk to an entrepreneur on the front lines of business ownership. My high school classmate, Jeff Brown, is the owner of 12 grocery stores in Philadelphia. How does he survive in a brutally competitive low-margin environment? How did he respond to the additional challenges of Covid? How does he make being in food deserts work?   It turns out there is an answer, and it’s not on the University of Chicago MBA curriculum: community involvement. Listen to the very end. There …

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Episode #13: Zachary Karabell joins me to discuss “Inside Money.”

In his new book Inside Money: Brown Brothers Harriman and the American Way of Power, the prolific Zachary Karabell uses the history of Brown Brothers Harriman to follow the arc of American political economy, from the muscular capitalism of the early generations of the Brown family in the 19th century, to their maturation as genteel private bankers in the 20th century, to the sense of service of the BBH partners when they were regularly called to Washington from the 1930s through the 1960s. It is a (mostly) positive tale about American history, American finance, American economic growth and innovation.  That makes it …

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Episode #12: Rising rates and the dividend investor. Fear not.

After four decades of declining interest rates, and widespread meddling in the risk-signaling mechanism of the US 10-Year Treasury Note, stock investors are justifiably confused by the prospect of rising rates. What’s it mean, particularly for income-oriented stock investors? In this episode, I try to clear the air and simplify the confusing narrative about rising rates and dividend-paying stocks.

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Episode #9: Fallacy or Philosophy? Finance’s Sixty-year Dividend Debate. (Part 2)

This is a special two-part episode of Keep Calm and Carry On Investing that focuses on the academy’s treatment of dividend investing over the past sixty years.  This first part highlights the dominant negative view; the second part is an overview of that less visible but equally important academic literature that positions dividend investing in the context of reasonable business ownership.  

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Episode #8: A conversation with Ron “Everyman”–questions you should ask yourself about retirement planning.

Before you sit down with your retirement planner, or begin doing your own planning, you should ask yourself several critical questions: about how you define risk and return, how much of the decision making you want to do yourself versus having third parties do it on your behalf, among other choices that have to be made. I go through this exercise with Ron “Everyman,”  an attorney in his late 50s thinking about how to plan for retirement.

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