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Become a Better Investor’s Top 5 Bloggers 2018 – Close Contenders

The weather is getting cooler—yes, even in Thailand—and Christmas is just around the corner! Which means it must be nearly time to announce Become a Better Investor’s Top 5 Bloggers of 2018 and the Close Contenders. Every year, we gather the statistics from our Top 5 of the Week posts to see just who contributes the most great content to our weekly investment readings.

Over the last 52 weeks, we’ve summarized a whopping 260 articles across 807 bullet points from 99 different authors. All the authors we feature weekly are, in our humble opinion, top thought leaders in the world of investment and finance. Some just pop-up more often than others.

In 2017, our Heavyweight Champion Top 5 Bloggers and Close Contenders contributed to 50% of the overall tally of bullet points. This year, as you can see below, our Top 5 Heavyweights and Close Contender bloggers contributed to just 42% of the overall posts.

Tomorrow, we’ll announce the Top 5 Bloggers of 2018, but today is all about our Close Contenders. Below you’ll find each of their Top 5 takeaways from this year.

FREE eBook: Become a Better Investor’s 260 Best Investment Articles 2018

Charlie Bilello

Blog: Pension Partners

Placed in 2017: New to 2018

Share of total 2018 bullet points: 2.5%

Director of Research at Pension Partners, LLC, Charlie Bilello is an investment advisor and the co-author of four well-renowned research papers. Follow him on Twitter here.

Our Top 5 Takeaways from Charlie in 2018:

  • Given that data shows “higher volatility, lower average returns, and a higher probability of tail risk” below this 200-day moving average boundary, should we all be concerned about what the future holds next? (Read the full article here)
  • This knowledge—what we ‘think’ we know—is the most dangerous aspect of investing, the more you think you know, the more convicted you are that you’re right about your decisions (Read the full article here)
  • Data shows that cheap stocks will yield above-average forward returns, while expensive stocks will produce below-average forward returns—regardless of where bond yields sit (Read the full article here)
  • On the surface, this seems to make logical sense, but data shows that attempting to time your stock exposure in correlation with manufacturing activity is a very ineffective strategy (Read the full article here)
  • There’s no precedent in history for what may happen next, but it definitely marks the end of the longest period for “easy money” that the markets have ever seen (Read the full article here)


Cullen Roche

Blog: Pragmatic Capitalism

Placed in 2017: Close Contender

Share of total 2018 bullet points: 2.5%

Cullen Roche founded his blog Pragmatic Capitalism following the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 to provide an alternative perspective to finance and economics. He is also the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, offering fee-only financial advisory services. Follow him on Twitter here.

Our Top 5 Takeaways from Cullen in 2018:

  • So, in the age-old passive vs. active argument, it is important to know that we are all really active investors—just at varying degrees (Read the full article here)
  • For anyone looking to build a diversified portfolio, the Global Financial Asset Portfolio (GFAP) is a great view of the world’s financial assets according to current market capitalization (Read the full article here)
  • The secret to note here is that as bubbles rise up around new tech, like Bitcoin, it’s not necessary to be in the early money chaser group, instead, be patient and wait for the second move advantage (Read the full article here)
  • Luck results in great outcomes from mediocre—or even bad—decisions, while experiencing risk is what happens when good choices lead to adverse outcomes (Read the full article here)
  • The fixed nature of Bitcoin coins and their scarcity means that it can’t become the dominant form of money—it can never be used as credit (Read the full article here)


Joshua Brown

Blog: The Reformed Broker

Placed in 2017: #5 Heavyweight Champion from our Top 5 Bloggers of 2017

Share of total 2018 bullet points: 2.7%

CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management and CNBC Contributor (The Halftime Report), Joshua is well-renowned in the investment blogging world. Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, and TIME Magazine have all ranked Josh as the number one finance guy to follow on social media. He has also written the popular books Backstage Wall Street and Clash of the Financial Pundits. Follow him on Twitter here.

Our Top 5 Takeaways from Joshua in 2018:

  • It is impossible to make consistent market calls; influence, therefore, should not be assigned based on fund size alones—size doesn’t (always) matter (Read the full article here)
  • Avoid becoming too much of an avid supporter of individual stocks, bonds, companies, currencies, etc (Read the full article here)
  • First level-thinking: Recognizing a company that is “kicking ass” (Read the full article here)
  • Go a step further and be transparent about how risk and reward go hand-in-hand—don’t attempt to soften the truth (Read the full article here)
  • Respect the fact that the market is more intelligent than we are as individuals (Read the full article here)


Corey Hoffstein

Blog: Newfound Research

Placed in 2017: Close Contender

Share of total 2018 bullet points: 3.0%

Corey Hoffstein is Co-founder and Chief Investment Officer at Newfound Research, a quantitative asset management firm. He was named a 2014 ETF All Star by ETF.com. Follow him on Twitter here.

Our Top 5 Takeaways from Corey in 2018:

  • It’s important to find the right balance; diversification helps mitigate factor portfolio risk, while imprecision raises risk level due to the introduction of unintended bets (Read the full article here)
  • Timing luck is defined by when we choose to rebalance our investment strategies—e.g., returns from rebalancing in the middle of the month will differ to those from rebalancing at the beginning/end (Read the full article here)
  • While counterintuitive to much investing philosophy, momentum results demonstrate how the process systemically takes advantage of other investor’s irrational behavior (Read the full article here)
  • If human nature and actions remain governed by “fear, greed, hope and ignorance,” stocks will continue to be mispriced (Read the full article here)
  • Loss aversion can lead to investors becoming unreasonably risk averse and anxious when they overweight losses in relation to their gains (Read the full article here)


Mark Rzepczynski

Blog: Disciplined Systematic Global Macro Views

Placed in 2017: New to 2018

Share of total 2018 bullet points: 3.2%

A former professor of finance, Mark Rzepczynski is passionate about discussing global economic and finance issues to enhance his readers’ understanding of markets. Follow him on Twitter here.

Our Top 5 Takeaways from Mark in 2018:

  • All told, there’s no such thing as a ‘safe’ safe asset, and so, we should never be careless about our asset allocation choices (Read the full article here)
  • We shouldn’t “confuse hard work with results” and when it comes to active management, forgo the effort sympathy and watch the data (Read the full article here)
  • Mistakes are an inherent part of being human, we all make them and will continue to—the difference is if you make one on purpose (Read the full article here)
  • The Dalai Lama, Tibetan spiritual leader, believes, “No one religion can ever hope to satisfy everyone”—the same can be applied to investing strategies (Read the full article here)
  • One of the biggest problems with alternative risk premia is not just working out if they are actually real, but how they change through time (Read the full article here)


Nick Maggiulli

Blog: Of Dollars and Data

Placed in 2017: New to 2018

Share of total 2018 bullet points: 3.5%

Analytics Manager for Ritholtz Wealth Management, Nick Maggiulli (pronounced “Ma-Julie” according to Nick himself) utilizes the art of blogging and data analysis to provide valuable financial insights to his readers. Follow him on Twitter here.

Our Top 5 Takeaways from Nick in 2018:

  • There are in fact many winning investment strategies and your chosen approach only really accounts for 20-30% of your investing success (Read the full article here)
  • It’s possible to outperform the classic buy and hold strategy, “if you follow the money” (Read the full article here)
  • In our blinkered states as investors trying to maximize returns as much as possible, we forget that it is leverage ratios that can wipe us out (Read the full article here)
  • You may believe you’re different, but history says otherwise—if you’re lucky enough to succeed with an investment windfall, try to remember your humanity (Read the full article here)
  • Our pre-existing views and cultural outlooks significantly influence us in helping us see what we want to see (Read the full article here)


FREE eBook: Become a Better Investor’s 260 Best Investment Articles 2018

DISCLAIMER: This content is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Readers should not consider statements made by the author(s) as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. While the information provided is believed to be accurate, it may include errors or inaccuracies. The author(s) cannot be held liable for any actions taken as a result of reading this article. The Become a Better Investor Team doesn’t necessarily endorse any stocks or shares mentioned in the articles or the author of such articles linked to and summarized in Top 5 of the Week and cannot guarantee the accuracy of its information.