Hottest links for Wednesday 8th January, the late edition (see Tuesday’s edition of hottest links). Get our free daily newsletter (the updated version) and never miss a single linkfest. Also, now if you sign up you will get our new e-book on value investing.

Top stories for today are below. Today’s stories include discussions of Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, ETF stats for December, and six castles you can buy for less than an apartment in NYC.

Hottest Links: Stories

Value Investing

Investors Must Accept That Markets Are Unpredictable

Could the market drop the day after you make an investment? Yes, but it could rise, as well. While we professionals can tell you the factors that may cause the market to rise or fall, we can’t tell you if the market will rise or fall. [Charles Rotblut, The Wall Street Journal]

Introspection Can Improve Your Investing

The holiday season and the turn of the calendar year can create an opportunity for introspection as to how you invest. [A. Michael Lipper, Inside Investing]

Don’t Be a ‘Time Machine’ Investor

The discomfort arises because the “smart” in the term “smart beta” can be taken to imply investors will get superior returns. [Brendan Conway, Focus on Funds]

David (Active Management) vs. Goliath (Passive Indexes)

Malcolm Gladwell is a fantastic writer and his new book, David and Goliath, got us thinking about his current thesis: David as a poster child for underdogs is a mistake. Gladwell contends that David had significant advantages over Goliath. [Smead Capital Management]


REITs, Asset Allocation, & The Correlation Headwind

This is a byproduct of the performance divergence between the two asset classes of late. But unless you think that stocks are REITs are now destined to move in lockstep from now on, the diversification potential for the two asset classes is still intriguing. [The Capital Spectator]

Hottest Links

Why Nearly 70 ETFs Died in ’13 Despite a Roaring Stock Market

ETFs sometimes are cast too narrowly, such as the two leveraged VelocityShares ETNs tied to copper prices that closed in January after 11 months. [Brendan Conway, Focus on Funds]

6 Castles That Cost Less Than An Apartment In NYC

With Russian, Chinese, and Argentinian (with a record low in the blue dollar today) money washing ashore (in USD or Bitcoin) under the Status of Liberty, the ‘prices’ of upscale apartments in New York City have simply exploded. [Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge]

ETF Stats for December 2013

Trading activity increased 12.6% in December to $1.24 trillion.  Of that, SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSEARCA:SPY) accounted for 32.6%.  [Ron Rowland, Invest with an Edge] Hottest Links

December 2013 Month End ETFs ETNs Total
Currently Listed U.S. 1,332 204 1,536
Listed as of 12/31/2012 1,239 206 1,445
New Introductions for Month 10 1 11
Delistings/Closures for Month 2 4 6
Net Change for Month +8 -3 +5
New Introductions 6 Months 79 7 86
New Introductions YTD 143 15 158
Delistings/Closures YTD 50 17 67
Net Change YTD +93 -2 +91
Actively-Managed Listings 71 (+2) n/a 71 (+2)
Assets Under Mgmt ($ billion) $1,674 $23.2 $1,697
% Change in Assets for Month +1.9% +3.4% +1.9%
Qty AUM > $10 Billion 36 0 36
Qty AUM > $1 Billion 209 6 215
Qty AUM > $100 Million 656 32 688
% with AUM > $100 Million 49.3% 15.7% 44.8%
Monthly $ Volume ($ billion) $1,202 $35.4 $1,237
% Change in Monthly $ Volume +12.0% +37.2% +12.6%
Avg Daily $ Volume > $1 Billion 7 1 8
Avg Daily $ Volume > $100 Million 69 2 71
Avg Daily $ Volume > $10 Million 249 10 259

Bill Miller’s Legg Mason Opportunity Trust

Bill Miller’s Legg Mason Opportunity Trust returned a whopping 67% in 2013, reports The New York Times’ James Stewart. [Sam Ro, Business Insider]

How JPMorgan shorted Madoff

Hidden in the document detailing Tuesday’s settlement between the Department of Justice and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) over Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme was this nugget: JPMorgan was essentially shorting Madoff. [Stephen Gandel, Term Sheet]

Citi Considers Selling Private-Equity Stake to Comply With Volcker Rule

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) is considering selling its $1 billion stake in a private-equity fund to comply with new federal rules, said a person familiar with the matter. [Shayndi Raice, MoneyBeat]


Taoist temples and local blindness

Bronte Capital’s office are in the tower above the Westfield Shopping Centre in Bondi Junction, Sydney, Australia. [John Hempton, Bronte Capital]

The Fed and QE – An almost impossible balancing act

A nice series of articles from Bloomberg news alerts us to the fact that the Fed is anything but united when it comes to QE. [Variant Perception]

Greenberg: Netflix Downgrade — Moment of Truth?

Whenever a bullish or bearish analyst veers from the pack, it’s noteworthy. With Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), it was noteworthy when Janney’s longtime bear Tony Wible turned bullish just before the stock took off. [Herb Greenberg, Herb on TheStreet]

Hottest Links: Not The Onion

Pizza Delivery Man Caught Having Sex With His German Shepherd

A pizza delivery man in Florida was arrested after his roommate caught him, on tape, having sex with their shared German Shepherd. [NewsBreaker]