Inkwell’s primary focus is on achieving satisfactory investment results for its clients. While we are busy with that, though, we want to engage you in the process by telling you our thoughts as we go about our business. We believe that the more you understand our investment philosophy and our way of thinking, the more comfortable you will be with our investment decisions.
Each quarter we write a letter to our clients which contains our reading of the current market climate and our thoughts on how best to navigate it. We also write occasional memos on topics that catch our eye or that we think might be interesting to our clients.
Below is a collection of these publications.
20222022 was a bad, bad, bad year.What 1980s one-hit wonder Bobby McFerrin can teach us about investing.The first half of 2022 was the worst start to the year for U.S. stocks in at least 60 years.Some stocks were COVID-related darlings (think Peloton or Zoom), but the wild ride appears to be over.
2021The stock market can sometimes produce counter-intuitive results. Last year saw a lot of fear and uncertainty, yet stock market returns were robust.Fear and greed are ever-present dangers with regard to investing in the stock market, but the best way forward is to avoid them both.Inkwell Capital celebrated its 10th anniversary during the second quarter. No investor is perfect, and this post-mortem analysis takes a hard look at the mistakes we have made so far.With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic now a year behind us, let's look at some of the timeless investing lessons re-learned during this tumultuous year.
2020Good riddance to 2020. Also, are we really at another all-time high in the stock market?!Will the upcoming presidential election affect our portfolios one way or the other? According to history, probably not.Amid madness on both Wall Street (bankrupt stocks soaring) and Main Street (people refusing to wear a mask), we remain focused.The world turned upside down this quarter, but let's not lose our investment heads in the process.
2019Everything in life, including the stock market, is cyclical. Where are we in the current cycle?It's amazing how wildly -- both in dollar terms and percentage terms -- some large, well-known stocks fluctuate in price from year to year.In this topsy turvy stock market, bad news is sometimes seen as good while good news is seen as bad. What's an investor to do?Trying to time your entry and exit points in the stock market may seem like a sensible plan, but it's not as simple as it first appears.
2018U.S. stocks recently crossed into bear market territory, and the bond market is signaling that a recession may be on the horizon.Interest rates are finally starting to rise. What does that mean for stock market investors?Lessons learned from a trip to Omaha for the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting.Growth investing has earned higher returns than value investing lately. When will the tide turn?
20172017 saw more than its fair share of political and meteorological calamities. So why was the stock market up 22%?Many signs point to an over-heated stock market.Pay no attention to the White House's current enthusiasm. It's Big Tech that's driving the market.A surprising answer to the question of what happens to the stock market following an all-time high.
2016An unlikely loser surfaced this election season: the polling industry.Our turnover has been very low recently.Panic over Brexit prompts us to say, "Keep Calm and Carry On."The stock market has just as many dips, dives, twists, and turns as an actual roller coaster.
2015What is the opposite of a New Year's resolution?When looking at stock market returns it is good to keep everything in perspective.While hitting for the cycle is a rare feat in baseball, investing for the cycle is something Inkwell strives for every day.Spring is Inkwell's favorite time of year, but it's not because of all the flowers and sunshine.
20142014 was a year of surprises.How long does it usually take the stock market to double?Hop on the Buffett train--a look at the history of Berkshire Hathaway.How to live forever.
2013What's in a typical Inkwell portfolio these days?The stock market continues to hit new highs... now what?Will rising interest rates cause the stock market to sink?Compound interest--the eighth wonder of the world.
2012How much does GDP growth influence the stock market? Spoiler alert: close to none.Do you have the guts to be a value investor?Recap of our annual pilgrimage to Omaha, Nebraska.A tale of two companies--"it was the best of companies, it was the worst of companies."
2011Why we are bullish right now.What the recent volatility in the stock market should mean to you.Inkwell's first quarter--what you can expect from us, what we'll expect from you.
As long as there are humans, there will be scammers. Here are a few scams to watch out for, along with some ideas for avoiding them and for what to do if you fall prey to one.October
How much can a retiree safely withdraw from their portfolio and still expect that portfolio to go the distance?July
The world is a dangerous place, and nobody is looking out for your best interests except for you.June
The big tech stocks have been on a tear. Can they sustain that momentum, or will history catch up to them?April
Is Tesla really worth what it's trading for in the stock market? Can it ever grow big enough to justify its lofty valuation?February
Credit scores can be a mysterious part of the American financial system. Let us take you on a behind-the-scenes tour.January
Beware the increasingly popular investment tool known as the ETF. They may give you the illusion of diversification, and they may cost more than you realize.
IRAs and 401(k)s are great in that they are doubly tax-advantaged. Health Savings Accounts, or "healthcare IRAs," are triple tax-advantaged.October
The amount you receive in Social Security benefits depends on several factors. Here is a map to help you navigate the way.August
CEO pay is a perennial sore spot for shareholders. Sometimes, though, it can go from bad to egregious.July
James Holzhauer has made Jeopardy! history this year. His record-breaking run also provides an object lesson for us investors.May
How is it that Starbucks' number of stores is up 5%, its revenues are up 6%, and yet its stock is up 64% over the past year?April
Recent news stories have broken about how some wealthy parents have essentially bribed their kids' way into college. This article is about the scandal the rest of us face: how to afford it once our kids are accepted.February
For decades, Warren Buffett declined to buy any railroad or airline stocks, yet now he owns a railroad and significant stakes in all the major U.S. airlines. Why has he recently reversed course? One word: oligopoly.
How is it possible for a company like Microsoft to hold only $36 billion of assets, yet have a market cap of nearly $1 trillion?October
Apple is now worth over $1 trillion. We look back at former stock market pioneers and find some commonalities.September
There are several different ways that taking a loan from your retirement account can come back to bite you.August
Even the greatest investors make mistakes. Here are a few classics to learn from.July
Humans are weirdly over-confident about things they know nothing about. Don't let that hurt you financially.May
Why the price for one share of stock is a nearly meaningless number.April
New regulations increase transparency into executive compensation. Will it change behavior?March
How can you make sure that your money lives longer than you do?January
Buying at a market trough is a wonderful thing. But those opportunities are so rare that it's not worth waiting for them.
Margin debt as a percent of GDP is higher than ever.October
A closer look at five earlier stock market crashes and what lessons they hold for us today.September
There are many ways to average numbers. Always read the footnotes to find out if you're being hoodwinked.July
There are hundreds of scams out there, trying to separate you from your hard-earned money. Be wary.June
Compound interest can be hard to wrap your head around, but understanding it is essential to successful investing.April
An MIT genius first conquers black jack then goes on to master the biggest casino of them all -- the stock market.March
Chipotle Mexican Grill has recently been struggling. Can it recover and hit its stride once again?February
How an economics experiment uncovered the simple secret to successful long-term investing: take a constant and moderate amount of risk then let the odds work in your favor.January
A look back at the mistakes Inkwell has made in its first five years.
There's always at least one hot sector of the stock market. You don't have to follow everyone else into each new investing fad.October
Just because you have easy access to certain data does not mean that it will help you make good investment decisions.September
It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future. That's even more true in the stock market.August
Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, and other legendary investors have sometimes had to actively engage with the managements of the companies they invested in, as detailed in Jeff Gramm's recent book Dear Chairman.June
It's always possible for an investor to make portfolio-destroying decisions, even for the legends of the game.May
Rich people may be more susceptible to succumb to financial fraud. Make sure you're not one of them.April
It takes much more than raw intelligence and knowing how to use a spreadsheet to make it in the investment business.March
The stock market has been little more than flat over the recent past. What returns can investors reasonably expect going forward?February
Is it possible to find a stock that will return 100 times your original investment?
Companies buying their own stock is all the rage right now. Should investors be excited about it?November
The future of the stock market is always hard to predict, but one long-term metric can give us a rough idea of what to expect.October
How a slow-growing stalwart company can produce higher investment returns than a high-growth tech upstart.September
August 24, 2015 was a wild and crazy day in the stock market. Our suggested response to the madness.August
The lion's share of the stock market's gains in 2015 have been driven by just a handful of companies.July
Investment managers who invest the same way as their clients tend to earn higher returns.June
A closer look at Robert Shiller's Cyclically Adjusted P/E (CAPE) valuation metricMay
A closer look at a market valuation tool known as the Buffett IndicatorMarch
Economic forecasters tend to have a virtually unblemished record of failure.January
How ten current mutual funds stack up against the market.
Beating the market is possible, but might entail some short-term pain.November
The boxed chocolate business is a seemingly poor one: regionalized tastes, highly seasonal sales, and little to no growth. However, See's Candies has been nothing short of a home run investment. Here's why.September
A new-ish metric called Active Share can help you know if your portfolio has a good chance to beat the market or not.August
Benjamin Graham, the dean of value investing, used to have his students compare the investment merits of two companies simultaneously. This is just such a comparison of two restaurant companies whose main products are heavy on the gluten.July
Scott Adams, creator of the popular Dilbert cartoon, has some insightful opinions that can help us become better investors.June
The stock market continues to roar ahead, even though seemingly every pundit is calling for a correction. What's an investor to do?February
History repeats itself. Warren Buffett recently bought a sizable stake in ExxonMobil, just as he did about 30 years ago. A look at the two investments.January
Questions you should ask of anyone you are contemplating hiring to manage your portfolio.
Risk is not volatility, though everyone else on Wall Street will try to have you believe it. We present a better definition.October
A look at the ever-changing make-up of the Fortune 500, with some entertaining blasts from the past.September
Most investors trade too frequently, and too emotionally. This is a dangerous course and could be ruinous to your portfolio.August
Why the stock market sometimes values tiny start-ups more richly than their larger, established competitors.July
How a group of seemingly eccentric CEOs transformed their companies and created tons of stock market wealth in doing so.June
Intelligence is not a sufficient condition for investment success; in fact, it may hurt more than help.April
How a simple formula from a chemical company can help you invest better.March
A satirical look at the foibles of the professional investment research community.February
How judicious capital allocation in a public company's management can help juice shareholder returns.
You may be dangerously over-diversified and not even know it.November
Will Barack Obama or Mitt Romney lead to a stronger stock market? The answer may surprise you.September
How to live to 100 and find investments that will last as long as you.August
The latest book from investing legend Howard Marks has a lot to teach us.June
Picking a good company is only part of the investment puzzle; knowing the right price to pay is even more important.May
A primer on security analysis. Bonus: The stock we picked was bought out a few months later.April
You may be your own worst enemy when it comes to investment success.