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.

  • 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

  • The Case for Non-Predictive Decision Making

    In our view, market participants systematically underestimate the importance of vulnerabilities while correspondingly overestimating the importance of triggers. Why?

    April 5, 2023

  • Inflation’s One-Two Punch

    It’s inflation’s second punch that can deliver a blow that investors may not be expecting.

    January 4, 2023

  • Beware the linearity bias

    We tend to think of our world in linear terms, where the output of a system is proportional and directly correlated to its inputs.

    November 2, 2022

  • The quality conundrum

    The conundrum for investors these days is the trade-off between the value of quality and price to pay for it. 

    March 29, 2022

  • Prepare don't predict

    How an engineering principle can improve investment risk management.

    November 3, 2021

  • On modern monetary theory

    We explore the evolution of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and the notable economic ideas on which it is based. We highlight some notable criticisms and discuss implications of MMT for economic policy and financial markets. Our purpose is less focused on opining whether MMT is fundamentally sound, but rather aimed at understanding its development and how the ground may shift if indeed MMT-based policies are more widely embraced.

    June 30, 2021

  • Where I’m seeing value in emerging markets

    I’ve been revisiting Philip Fisher’s Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits recently. Scanning the opportunity set in emerging markets, I’ve been trying to imagine what Fisher would have made of the current investment landscape.

    May 26, 2021

  • 'Twas the week before Christmas

    ‘Twas the week before Christmas, (and you know it’s true), COVID looms large in our annual review.

    December 18, 2020