Patience Is a Valuable Negotiating Asset

Among the most powerful items in a negotiator’s toolbox is the ability to wait. Of course, the habit and mental discipline of patience is probably an advantage in most areas of life. It tends to be overlooked in negotiation, though, and so is worthy of some further consideration. For many years, I worked with a […]

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Legal Duties of Financial Advisors

For half a dozen years or more, a great political battle has been waged in Washington. At stake has been the level of duty owed clients by their financial advisors. As I have indicated in previous posts, it is a very big deal. To the astonishment of many, under current rules the vast majority of […]

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The Folks Who Handle Your Money Owe You Something

The various advisors, brokers, banks and financial services companies all owe you something. It isn’t money or recompense that you should expect from them. Rather, the folks who handle your money owe you a set of attitudes and behaviors that indicate professional service instead of salesmanship, arms-length-transactions, or profiteering. Let’s get specific. Everyone who has […]

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Cooperation vs Competition

An important question arises almost invariably whenever we think hard about the concept of negotiation. Are cooperative or competitive methods the better road toward optimal outcomes? Professors Lax and Sebenius have referred to a version of this quandary as the negotiator’s dilemma. Most scholars and thoughtful practitioners eventually conclude that good negotiators must adopt some […]

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The New York Times Takes Notice of the Virtual Impossibility of Consistently Beating the Market

I have written frequently that efficient, liquid markets price assets more or less correctly and, as a result, it is essentially impossible to “beat the market” over extended periods of time.  This “rational market theory” is not personal opinion or one side of an argument but, rather, accepted scientific fact. Economists know that outperformance is […]

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What is Negotiating Your Investments Really About?

In Negotiating Your Investments, I am trying to teach readers a number of different things that I think are important and valuable. Not all of those lessons fit together intuitively, though, and several readers have suggested a short description of the book’s path. Here are the major points of the book in the order of […]

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The Great Frustration When Scientific Knowledge Is Ignored

How do you get people to acknowledge scientific fact if it is both counterintuitive and contrary to popular belief? I have faced this challenge since the publication of Negotiating Your Investments and I must confess it is a tough nut to crack. Economists are close to unanimous in their understanding that some form of the […]

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Trust Prudently

To negotiate successfully, you have to figure out the difficult issue of who, and how much, to trust. Here are some things to keep in mind. Trust is not binary. Too many people make the mistake of either “trusting” or “not trusting” their negotiating partners. They unwisely think it is like a switch, either in […]

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Why We Expect Stocks To Outperform Bonds Over Long Periods

We can anticipate, with great confidence, that stocks will outperform bonds over time. Or, to use more exacting language, a properly diversified portfolio of stocks will outperform bond investments over long investment periods. As an empirical matter, this is borne out by history and can be checked by doing a little research. There is also a […]

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Learn More About How Markets Really Work

One of the most powerful things you can do to improve your investing is to strengthen your knowledge about how markets really work. The best way is a combination of study and practice. Here is a story that sheds a little bit of light on the subject. As a young man traveling in Mexico, I […]

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