Brandon Langley

Recent Posts

Side Effects of the Stock Market May Include…

Posted by Brandon Langley on 7/21/22 11:04 AM

Pretty much everyone has experienced the agony having their TV watching interrupted by the ubiquitous pharmaceutical advertisement. In fact, they have become so commonplace that an assortment of entertaining spoofs have been created, like this one.

As the video above highlights, one of the memorable aspects for many of these medications is the absurdly long list of expected and potential side effects. Now, I respect the fact that these disclosures are important in providing consumers the necessary information to make an informed decision, but that doesn’t eliminate the irony of risking death for seasonal allergy relief.

After enduring yet another round of drug ads during a recent weekend of baseball, I was struck by the similarities between prescription medication and the stock market. Both are designed to address a specific problem, from eczema to paying for long-term healthcare and education expenses. Both also have side effects.

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Topics: Systematic Investing

Famous StrawMen: The Scarecrow and the Best 10 Days Rule

Posted by Brandon Langley on 7/7/22 10:30 AM

My mother has always been a big fan of Victor Fleming’s "The Wizard of Oz." When I was a kid, it would be on TV at least once a year, and mom always made a point to watch it. I usually joined her...up until the part where the witch and her creepy troop of flying monkeys showed up. From there I would typically escape somewhere to avoid them, until they returned later that night to rule in my nightmares...

The characters are all memorable due to some of the basic themes they represent, but my favorite is The Scarecrow. He values a brain over anything else and, in an ironic twist, he turns out to be the wisest of the group.

A recent running of the classic, combined with our collective enjoyment in slaying investment industry sacred cows, has me thinking about another famous strawman: the best 10 days rule.

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Topics: Behavioral Finance

Dissecting the 3 Stages of a Bear Market

Posted by Brandon Langley on 5/11/22 1:20 PM

In a blog last week, I discussed how the virtually uninterrupted bull market in equities during the last 10+ years has watered down the idea of “downside protection.” This is a problem, especially since not all declines are created equal.

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Topics: Systematic Investing

Anatomy of a Bear Market

Posted by Brandon Langley on 5/4/22 12:40 PM

There are numerous examples of words and phrases entering the lexicon, providing deep meaning for many years, but over time and with frequent use losing significance among the masses. The word or phrase itself didn’t change, but the meaning was diluted by changing circumstances.

I worry that “downside protection” has run through the watering-down process.

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Topics: Behavioral Finance

Ingredients Matter – In Baking & Investing

Posted by Brandon Langley on 4/19/22 9:41 AM

Vanilla is a fascinating ingredient. It is one of the most popular flavors worldwide and is incredibly common for use in baked goods. The process of creating vanilla flavoring is time-consuming and labor-intensive, which is why in its purest form it is also one of the most expensive spices in the world.

Vanilla’s widespread use and high value alone are not what makes it interesting. Take vanilla and add it to a cake mix and it enhances the flavor, turning an ordinary result into something great. But if you first bake the cake and then drizzle even the highest quality vanilla over it, you have effectively ruined the dessert.

Ingredients matter. So does the order in which they’re combined. In baking and investing.

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Topics: Systematic Investing

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