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Institutional Investor’s Best Blogs of 2016

Here’s a look at the columns that received the most traffic this past year.

  • Editors

How to Invest the Dale Carnegie Way

Institutional Investor’s Inefficient Markets columnist Vitaliy Katsenelson speaks to lessons learned from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. He recalls first picking it up in Russia at the tail-end of the Cold War, when it was “the book to read.” Katsenelson, however, decided it was “stuffed with disingenuous fluff.” Years later, he says he wishes he could turn to his 17-year-old self and say, “Read this book slowly; pay attention; this is the most important thing you’ll ever read.” Interested in Carnegie’s advice? Then this column is a must-read.

The Things We Think and Do Not Say

There’s a cruel wind blowing through the asset management business, says Avenue of Giants’ Ashby Monk. “We all feel it,” he says. “And if we don’t, perhaps we’ve forgotten how to feel.”

For managers looking to raise their game in a business that has become a “tap dance meant to convince asset managers to part with their money” and better position themselves to serve the needs of asset owners, Monk has some simple suggestions: “fewer and more meaningful client relationships; less tap-dancing; more truth.”

Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio Explains the Power of Not Knowing

To make money in the markets, Dalio says, two things are required: First, “you have to be an independent thinker because you can’t make money agreeing with the consensus view, which is already embedded in the price.” Second, you have to be humble, because whenever you’re betting against the consensus, “there’s a significant probability you’re going to be wrong.” His solution? Seek out thoughtful disagreement to keep yourself in check. Learn more about the power of not knowing.

Fintech and the Fear of Froth

What is the barometer of the fintech climate? Institutional Investor’s The Futurist columnist Jeffrey Kutler says there may be no better barometer of the fintech climate “than what the money people are saying.” The venture capitalists, investment bankers and others spotlighted last November in Institutional Investor’s inaugural Fintech Finance 35 ranking were unanimously enthusiastic and optimistic, Kutler writes — “but with murmurs of concern about too much froth.” While the challenges and risks are often rooted in the fact that the concept is vague and undifferentiated, Kutler takes a step back to define fintech.

The Values of Value of Investing

Prompted by an email from a reader asking about his spending habits, Katsenelson speaks questions his value investing “values.” He turns to Ben Graham’s 1949 tome The Intelligent Investor for investing lessons: Don’t trade stocks like you would trade sardines, he says. View them as partial ownership of a business. A discount to “worth” doesn’t equate to statistically cheap. “A $36-a-night room at Motel 6 by the airport, overrun by cockroaches and bedbugs and with questionable plumbing, may be statistically cheap, but it’s not a bargain.”