Category Archives: Blog

How Much Should the Tax Tail Wag the Asset Allocation Dog? A Rule-of-Thumb for Weighing Capital Gains Taxes in Portfolio Rebalancing Decisions

  For investors who feel the expected return of equities isn’t as attractive today as it was 5 to 10 years ago when PEs were lower, it’s natural to be […]

When (if Ever) Has it Paid to Wait for a Stock Market Correction? Reviewing 115 Years of US Stock Market History

  A few weeks ago, one of our investors told us she had some cash that she wanted to add to her account with us, but that she felt the […]

Our Coin Flipping Research in the Journal of Portfolio Management

The research we conducted into how people bet on a computer-generated coin-flip they are told has a 60% chance of landing on heads was published in the Spring 2017 edition […]

Financial Times full page article about Elm (and Victor)

Mr Haghani has been on an intellectual journey that, in many ways, mirrors the evolution and central debates of the modern investment industry …. His mission is supported by research […]

What’s Past is NOT Prologue

  Thank you to the 702 people who read and interacted with our note exploring when past returns are indicative of future returns (here). We received so much thought-provoking feedback […]

What’s the Best Way to Get Invested in the Market?

  A few friends recently asked me how to go about putting more of their savings into the stock market. Is it better to jump in all at once, to […]

What Our Market Return Forecasts Really Mean: Equity Convexity and Investment Sizing

  This is the third in our series on how expected return, risk and risk-aversion come together to determine how much investment risk is ‘right’ for each of us. (The […]

Tax-Efficient Investing for US Citizens Long-Term Resident in the UK

  US citizens who have been living in the UK for a long time, like me, are facing significant changes in how we will be taxed in the UK. Unfortunately, […]

A Sharper Lens for Sizing Up Nickels and Steamrollers

  I just wrote a paper with my friend James White which applies and extends the ideas of the paper Andy Morton and I published in December on Optimal Investment […]

Vic’s TEDx Talk: Quitting is For Winners

My academic and early on-the-job training at Salomon Brothers ingrained in me a basic principle of value investing: when an investment becomes cheaper, try to add to your position. The […]

Podcast: Ignore Investing’s Mathematical Underpinnings at Your Peril

  I recently had the pleasure of featuring on Bloomberg’s Odd Lots podcast, with Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway. They asked me some great questions about mathematics in investing. You […]

How much of a good thing is best for you?

  We spend most of our time trying to identify good investments and assemble them into an attractive portfolio. The question of how much to invest in that portfolio usually doesn’t […]

Do Index Buyers Make Over-Valued Stocks More Over-Valued?

  For more than 60 years, the capitalization-weighted market portfolio has been a cornerstone of the modern theory of investing. As it inexorably takes its place as a cornerstone of […]

What does family planning have to do with investing?

  We recently launched a new sub-section of our website, Elm Labs, as a place to experiment with interactive research and educational tools. We launched with a simple (yet tricky) […]

Lessons from Betting on a Biased Coin: Cool heads and cautionary tales

  What would you do if you were invited to play a game where you were given $25 and allowed to place bets for 30 minutes on a coin that […]

Fees or Performance?

  In a recent interview on Bloomberg TV, I was asked the question: ‘Should investors focus on fees or performance?’ My answer was that while in the end it’s all […]

Active Index Investing: A contradiction in terms? Victor Haghani on Bloomberg TV

  Our founder Victor recently appeared on Bloomberg to discuss this short research note. You can watch part two of the interview here – Victor answers “What’s the implication of the fact […]

What’s all the hoopla? Passive indexers are still a rare breed

  We’ve just passed the 40th anniversary of the first index fund (Vanguard’s, naturally) and everyone’s talking about how passive indexing is taking over the world. That may be a […]

What I learned from my daughter (about investing)

  My daughter Jessica, a cognitive science major at university, caught me with a fun brain-teaser. It came up in a psychology class she was taking with Professor Phil Tetlock, […]

What’s up with REITs?

REITs have returned 17% in 2016, outperforming the S&P500 by 9%. There are several plausible explanations for REITs’ recent strength, such as this year’s 0.75% drop in long-term interest rates. […]

How to invest with Elm – Fidelity SMAs vs Fund

  We offer US taxable investors a choice: a separately managed account at Fidelity, or a Delaware private Fund. (for US IRA investments, we only offer SMAs at Fidelity). The […]

Elm’s strategy in The Journal of Portfolio Management

  While past performance is not necessarily indicative of future returns, we draw comfort from knowing that the way we invest has done well over the past nearly one hundred […]

If You Want to Own Property, REITs Provide a Huge Head Start vs Direct Investment

  If you’ve decided you want to allocate some of your savings to real estate, you may want to compare the merits of publicly listed REITs, like Vanguard’s (VNQ), versus […]

RealVisionTV: An Interview With Victor Haghani (8 min video)

  Victor sat down with Raoul Pal, 25 year market veteran and founder of RealVisionTV to discuss his career, his thoughts on investing, and how Elm came to be. Watch […]

The Un-Expectedly High Expected Return of Global Equities

  It seems just about everyone I talk to these days is underwhelmed by the long-term expected return of the global stock market. I too am more worried than normal […]

Return chasing can be hazardous to your wealth

  We just had a research paper accepted in SSRN’s elibrary. Click here for the abstract and the full 10 page paper. Here’s a snippet and some of our key […]

Why Wyoming?

  We’re often asked about Elm Partners’ US office in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Below is a short video shot by my son Josh using his quadcopter a few days ago, […]

In The News: Elm Launches Robo Portfolio Solution

  This week we launched our online signup for investment into our SMA’s at Fidelity. You can now invest with us here.  The full press release is below. —– Elm […]

Working Capital Review: A Conversation With Victor Haghani (Audio)

  Victor sat down with Chris Riback of Working Capital Review to discuss his career, his thoughts on investing, and how Elm came to be. Read the full article here. […]

Infographic: How much do taxes matter in investing?

The passive vs active investing debate usually centers on low vs high fees and the plausibility of superior investment performance. For many taxable investors, taxes can matter more than either […]

How well do global market-cap weighted indexes represent the true “market portfolio”?

  The most common map of the world is called the Mercator projection. It’s a compromise, as there is no perfect way to represent the shape, distance and land mass […]

Video: How risky is your stock market?


Video: The most important number you won’t find in the Wall Street Journal


Revisiting the Expected Return of the Stock Market

  A few months ago we posted a short video, titled ‘The Most Important Number You Won’t Find in the Wall Street Journal,’ which described a simple way to forecast […]

ETFs: Better Than Mutual Funds for Long Term Investors too?

  Assets invested in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) just broke through the $3 trillion milestone, 25 years since their birth.[1] At Elm Partners we use ETFs extensively, making up about […]

Our Asset Allocation Methodology

  Each of our strategies follows our rules-based asset allocation methodology, an approach we call Active Index Investing®. This note describes in detail the three main components of this approach: […]

Vanguard’s sweeping index changes (adding China A-shares & small caps)

  Many of Elm’s investors have asked what we thought of the changes announced by Vanguard last week. I thought I would share a few of my thoughts on the […]