The Art of Boring™ was created for curious and passionate investors. We share strategies, frameworks, and insights to help readers and listeners make better investment decisions. Our aim? To provide some bottom-up, long-term investing signal to cut through the short-term noise.


  • Lesson of 1909

    Last week was a productive one for diplomats. Not only did the U.S. and China sign a landmark climate change accord, the two mega-powers also established military guidelines to govern the contested waters off China and agreed to reduce technology tariffs.

    November 19, 2014

  • Looking beyond borders: Why Europe isn't dead

    I recently had a discussion with a client that had just returned from a European vacation. He shared stories about the interesting food, culture, and architecture. But he also offered a warning… “The economy in Europe is dead.”

    October 30, 2014

  • Frogs in the pot

    A few weeks ago I attended a lunch with Jean-Claude Trichet. As one might expect from the former head of the European Central Bank, Trichet spoke at length on the economy, quantitative easing and monetary policy. However, what was pleasantly surprising was his candour.

    October 10, 2014


  • Worrying signals for Russia’s economy

    Two important events involving Russia occurred in the last week. First, Russia amassed a highly suspicious buildup of 20,000 troops on the Ukrainian border. Second, Russia’s yield curve inverted. 

    August 8, 2014

  • Skating over the line

    Narrow rules have a cost. Although there is value in the clarity of rule, process and position, a system must also be flexible. 

    July 29, 2014

  • Language matters

    Just how important is a common language to investing? While some investors view it as the sort of soft, fluffy stuff best left to liberal arts majors, empirically—and in our experience— it is an essential feature of high performing investment teams.

    July 24, 2014

  • The toothbrush test

    A few weeks ago, I was introduced to Google’s Toothbrush Test. Contrary to the images that the name inspires, this test does not involve sticking a web-enabled toothbrush into your mouth to collect data on your molars. Instead, it relates to how Google allocates capital.

    July 11, 2014

  • Look for the baby

    This past week, one of my colleagues shared a learning at our weekly research meeting. Christian and his wife, Siggi, were on vacation when Siggi unfortunately dropped her iPhone into the bath. 

    July 10, 2014

  • Waiting in line: The high cost of red tape

    Imagine you spent 4% of your life waiting in line. Given that there are 8,765 hours in a year, this would imply that you spent 350 hours each year staring at the backs of people’s heads. 

    July 4, 2014

  • The art of survival

    The restaurant industry is tough. Virtually anyone with decent cooking skills and a modest amount of capital can open one; the barriers to entry are quite low. Restaurateurs must also face an unpredictable customer base, as well as significant competition and substitutes.

    June 26, 2014
  • Coffee cup risk

    It is much more valuable to have a probabilistic risk evaluation process.

    December 12, 2018

  • (Not) boring finds for November 2018

    This week we learned about e-krona, a digital currency in Sweden; the lasting impacts of Black Monday on Wall Street; how McRib availability can affect S&P 500 returns (hint: it can’t) and appreciated a few wise reminders on what to do when “things get wild” in the markets.

    November 28, 2018


  • Why public investors should care about the rise of private investment

    To be sure, there are many reasons a company may prefer to turn to private investors over more traditional public markets, but as more companies choose private funding when they need to raise capital, what are the implications for investors in public markets? 

    October 31, 2018

  • A selective approach to equity markets

    Last week, Morningstar interviewed international equity portfolio manager David Ragan about finding resilient stocks in international markets during turbulent times.

    October 17, 2018

  • (Not) boring finds for October 2018

    Our reading list this week considers factors leading to the next market correction; stock-based compensation; golfing economists; and the pitfalls of generalization.

    October 3, 2018


  • (Not) boring finds for September 2018

    A reminder to focus on the long-term; a look at growing corporate debt levels; a helpful explanation of stock buy backs, and a tip to improve the workplace. It’s been an illuminating week.

    September 5, 2018

  • Canadian lifecos: More than just insurance

    Canadian insurance companies are no longer just in the business of selling insurance to Canadians. They function more like financial conglomerates, and that, for investors, is potentially a good thing.

    August 22, 2018

  • (Not) boring finds for August 2018

    This week we admired some exemplary examples of CEO annual letters; raised our eyebrows at the remarkable effects of trade wars; reaffirmed our belief that language matters; and despaired at nefarious online trading platforms.

    August 1, 2018

  • Defensiveness: A suitcase word

    Given how often “defensive” enters into the investing lexicon and that it can mean different things to different people, aiming for a greater degree of precision in its definition may help to reduce misunderstanding or generalized historical bias.

    July 18, 2018

  • (Not) boring finds for June 2018

    Twenty ways to make mistakes with money, the history of monetary innovation, untangling misconceptions around interest rates, and the truth (data) about the creativity of pop songs. It was (not) a boring week!

    June 27, 2018