Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Jason Zweig’s Artfiul Newsletter

Recently signed up for Jason Zweig’s newsletter from the WSJ.  The latest is a winner.

Zweig leads off with the depressing thought that the average performance of active investment managers is one or two percent lower than reported. Reason: survivorship bias. As time passes, the unfortunate returns of funds or managers that drop out of the race vanish from data bases, leaving an average based on better-performing survivors.

 Delightfully, Zweig illustrates his items with everything from ephemera to fine art. Here he uses a Koloman Moser painting that we can imagine as a  collection of deceased funds floating around in other waste matter. 

Guess what happened a few months before Prohibition? Coca Cola went public. Shares were sold on the Curb, Street brokers received orders from clerks who signaled from office windows or ran downstairs to deliver orders. Fights sometimes broke out. Here’s the Curb as shown on a 1919 postcard:  

Can’t promise all of Zweig’s newsletter will be as sprightly as this one, but they are worth a look. 

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