Frank Boland's blog

Frank Thoughts: The Real Business

“Do you have a Macy’s credit card?” asked the woman behind the counter.  “No,” I replied shaking my head somewhat disdainfully side-to-side.  “Who needs another credit card?” I thought.   ‘Well, I ask because you can get another 20% off’ continued the woman.  “Oh,” I said quietly to myself.  “I’m getting 20% off because it’s on sale … and I can get still another 20% off?  And I’m buying $300 worth of clothes.”  I quickly filled out the short credit application.  I mean who wouldn’t want to save $120?

Frank Thoughts: The Coming Secular Bear Market In Bonds

As I came up out of the subway in New York City, I realized I was at the beginning of Wall Street.  Looking up the street I was absolutely awed to see the lineup of limousines.  In Boston at the time there were no limousines.  There –on Wall Street- they seemingly were everywhere!  To a poor Irish kid from Boston the cars, and their chauffeurs, represented great wealth … wealth I knew that had been created in the stock market.  It was the fall of 1965 and the market had been going up since the end of World War II …  close to 20 twenty years.  And I was 21. 

Frank Thoughts: The Malaise

The other night I entered a Cheesecake Factory restaurant and found myself smiling to no one in particular as my mind drifted back to over twenty years ago.  I recalled sitting at the Prime Rib in Baltimore with David Overton, founder of The Cheesecake Factory restaurant chain, and his Chief Financial Officer Bill Kling.  We had a large round table that would probably have seated eight people.  The reason for the large table was that we were about to sample eight to ten dinners ... plus desserts. 

Frank Thoughts: The Coming Rock Stars

An attractive woman in her early 40s walked right up to us and gushed to my companion, “Aren’t you …?” It wasn’t the first time I saw that happened.  But usually it’s an older male in the financial business.  Such is the power of being a “Rock Star“ portfolio manager.  You become a celebrity.  To qualify as a Rock Star, I submit, you have to have a 10-15 year record of outperforming the S&P 500.  Few managers do.  However, this particular Rock Star, as all the others before him, had achieved his status in the last century.  You cannot name a star portfolio manager of this century.  Ther

Frank Thoughts: The Secular Bull Market

A two-hour college lecture can seem extraordinarily long when you’re in your early 50s, even with a ten-minute break!  But there I was sitting in Massachusetts Hall in Harvard Yard –surrounded by over a hundred “kids”- listening to Professor David Dressler talk about the life cycle of scientific breakthroughs.  And I had brought this tedium on myself!  I had called the professor some months before and had arranged a meeting at the Faculty Club.  In the catalogue it listed the prerequisites for taking his upcoming course and I had none of them.  I was totally unqualified.  But there in small

Frank Thoughts: The Sell Decision

As we walked back from lunch and stood outside the office building talking, I realized I had but a moment to say it.  It was November 2012 and one of our research clients was about to return to his office. “Joe,” I began.  “One last thing, I think you should sell Apple.” “WHAT!” he responded?  

Frank Thoughts: Entrepeneurs

The man sitting across the table suddenly stood up unable to contain his excitement.  “Look,” he said.  “We know how to open and run restaurants!  We did it for years at Bennigan’s Steak and Ale.  Only this time we will be doing it for ourselves.”  Chris Sullivan was telling the story of how he started Outback Steakhouse, and what his business plan was for the future. 

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During my eighty-seven years, I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think.”

– Bernard Baruch