Frank Boland's blog

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. 

Frank Thoughts: The Uniqueness of Equities

It was a late summer day in 1955.  Stamps and newspapers were three cents.  A bottle of coke cost a nickel.   That summer I was a 12-year-old caddy earning $1.25 for a round of golf plus, generally, a small tip.  But on this particular day I would realize what it would take to make significant money as an adult. 

Frank Thoughts: The Directional Issue

It was 33 years ago this month when I got off the subway and stared at a newsstand copy of Business Week.  The cover read “The Death of Equities.”  It was 1979, five years removed from the 1973-1974 bear market.  I was totally flummoxed by the story.  The story was incomprehensible to me.

Frank Thoughts: The Middle Class Journey

My father stood staring out the living room window of our apartment building.  It was a building that was derisively referred to as “The Project” by its inhabitants.  Other people knew it as Public Housing.  It was government housing for low income people.  Many, like my father, were returning World War II veterans.  And these Vets, millions of them, were all starting out the same; Poor.  But in 1948, the best social economic environment was yet ahead of them.  Optimism was ubiquitous.

Frank Thoughts: THE HIGHBOY

I knew the highboy would be expensive.  But when you’re 22 and starting out in the investment business, well, you’re very confident.  Have to be.  Besides I had saved $10,000 for my upcoming wedding.  That was an unimaginable sum of money for a 22-year-old in 1967.  What I had no way of knowing was that, in the stock market, the emotional impact of perceived loss was 2.5 times greater than the emotional impact of gain.  Fortunately, I did realize that I didn’t know much about investing. 

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Learn how to take losses quickly and cleanly. Don’t expect to be right all the time. If you have made a mistake, cut your losses as quickly as possible.

– Bernard Baruch