David Larrabee, CFA

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David Larrabee, CFA, is director of Member and Corporate Products at CFA Institute and serves as the subject matter expert in portfolio management and equity investments. Previously, he spent two decades in the asset management industry as a portfolio manager and analyst. He holds a BA in economics from Colgate University and an MBA in finance from Fordham University. Topical Expertise: Equity Investments · Portfolio Management

Weekend Reads for Investors: Family Businesses, Pensions, and the Gekko Effect

Weekend Reads for Investors: Family Businesses, Pensions, and the Gekko Effect

Most studies of the impact of family ownership indicate that, on balance, family control is a good thing for stockholders. Family-controlled firms typically maintain a long-term perspective and strong balance sheets, and boast corporate cultures that have won the admiration of Warren Buffett. Credit Suisse has added to the body of research on family-controlled firms with the recent release of The Family Business Model, a global study which sought to better understand why family-run businesses outperform. Read more

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Forum: The Future of Active Management

The travails of active managers in recent years have been well-chronicled. Their poor collective performance has led investors to flee actively managed funds for passive products and others to question their relevance. To better understand the challenges facing active managers today, the industry’s response to those challenges, and the likely future state of the industry, CFA Institute is hosting an online forum as part of its Future of Finance initiative. Read more

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Weekend Reads for Investors: Montier, Musk, and Mauboussin

Weekend Reads for Investors: Montier, Musk, and Mauboussin

Central bankers in the US have long fixated on the equilibrium real interest rate (ERIR) as their lodestar, an obsession that GMO’s James Montier, in The Idolatry of Interest Rates, bemoans as “a massive exercise in navel gazing.” According to Montier, the broad acceptance of the theoretically dubious ERIR — the real interest rate consistent with full employment of labor and capital resources—is not an example of the wisdom of crowds, but rather “groupthink extraordinaire.” Further, investors’ collective preoccupation with interest rates as an economic “cure-all” and their “deification of central bankers” are equally misguided, says Montier. Read more

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Weekend Reads for Investors: Merger Mania, Peak Profits, and Value Investing

Weekend Reads for Investors: Merger Mania, Peak Profits, and Value Investing

The burgeoning market for mergers is reflective of a lack of organic growth opportunities, cheap capital, and flush corporate coffers. Additionally, elevated stock prices provide buyers with a strong currency and sellers with a reason to cash in, which helps explain why M&A activity has tended to peak around market tops, most recently in 2007, and before that in 2000. So while the pace of deals may be a sign that CEOs and their boards are more confident about their prospects for growth, investors should be aware that their timing of late has been less than prescient. For those investors tempted to pick the next takeover target, the safer bet may be on the Wall Street bankers who are doing the matchmaking and financing. They always get paid. Read more

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