How Many Stocks Is Too Many?

One of the key questions any investor must grapple with is, “How many stocks should I own?” Jonathan Burton addresses that issue in a recent MarketWatch column, taking a look at focused funds — those that hold relatively few stocks compared to most other mutual funds. “Focused funds — portfolios with only a couple of dozen holdings — are getting attention in a market where stock selection is more important than ever,” Burton writes. He says that, according to Morningstar, the average mutual fund contains 172 stocks — and that kind of diversification has a downside. “It limits a fund’s […]

Hot List: How to Combine Strategies to Minimize Risk, Maximize Returns

In my new book, The Guru Investor, I detail ten of the best-performing stock-picking strategies of all-time. These guru-based approaches are a great way to get a leg up on the market, but, as I’ve found over the years, having a proven stock-picking methodology is just one part of the path to market-beating returns. Stock investors also must deal with a number of portfolio management questions, such as, “Which strategy is best for me?”, “How many stocks should I own?”, and, “When should I sell?” As I’ve worked with my guru-inspired models over the years, I’ve learned a great deal […]

Dreman & Dividends: Finding Value in The Market’s Unloved

One of the hardest things to do as an investor is go against the grain. Being a contrarian by investing in stocks that no one else wants to touch with a ten-foot pole is difficult, especially in markets like this. But most good value investors, including Warren Buffett, David Dreman, John Neff and others use strategies to uncover value where no one else wants to look. The Dreman strategy, in particular, has a deep bias for unloved, out-of-favor stocks. To identify those types of companies, the approach uses four price-focused variables: Price-Earnings Ratio, Price-Cash Flow Ratio, Price-Book Ratio and Price-Dividend […]

The Dreman Strategy: How to Turn Others’ Fears into Your Profits

In my new investing book, The Guru Investor: How to Beat the Market Using History’s Best Investment Strategies, I outlined the investment approaches of ten highly successful long-term investors. One of the individuals I highlight is the well-known contrarian, David Dreman. Dreman is chairman of Dreman Value Management and a longtime Forbes magazine investment columnist. I hope you enjoy the following excerpt from Chapter 5 of The Guru Investor, which discusses who David Dreman is, what his strategy consists of, and how to best implement it. I will be publishing a follow up to this piece in which I will […]

J. Zweig on Forecasting & Black Swans

Jason Zweig unveils some great research in his latest piece for The Wall Street Journal (“Why Market Forecasts Keep Missing The Mark”). With all sorts of pundits making predictions for where the market will head in 2009, Zweig says you should be skeptical of their forecasts — and your own — a notion that I also examine in detail in my new book, The Guru Investor. Says Zweig, “Nearly all of us try forecasting the market as if each of the past returns of every year in history had been written on a separate slip of paper and tossed into […]