Until my retirement a few years ago, I was the director of research at Cambridge Associates, a global investment firm whose clients include major university and college endowment funds, foundations and other non-profit organizations, wealthy families, pension funds, international organizations, and sovereign wealth funds.
Widely regarded as a leading authority on endowment fund investing, my role was to develop, research, write and edit papers on all aspects of the investment process, from fund governance through investment policy formation to strategic asset allocation, manager selection, tactical asset allocation and current market analysis. I was responsible for formulating the firm’s views on investment issues and was the principal talking head at client meetings, conferences and investment forums.
Prior experience includes seven years as a financial consultant at Merrill Lynch and Prudential Bache Securities. Before diving into the investment world I was an assistant professor of English at Bucknell University (and previously on the faculty at the University of Virginia), specializing in 19th century British poetry. Originally from Scotland, I have a B.A. from Oxford University and an Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia.
Having retired, I now serve on the investment committee of Oxford University and the investment advisory committee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. I’m also a director of the Academy of American Poets and a trustee of the James Martin Foundation, which supports the Martin School at Oxford University.
My blog is succinct “how-to” guide for anyone who realizes he/she needs to save and invest for future expenditures (e.g., child’s college fund, retirement, that dream house in Maine). It covers what you should know about the capital markets, what you should know about the financial services and investment management industries, and how you should go about investing your savings to maximize the probability of realizing your financial goals. It does not attempt to provide financial planning advice (e.g., should you buy term or whole life insurance? What kind of mortgage would suit you best? Should you set up trusts as part of your estate planning?): the blog is just about investing.
You’ll notice that the blog topics fall into one of five categories (which are not mutually exclusive): Getting Started, which teaches you how to invest in an organized and rational way; Today’s Financial Markets, where you’ll find comments on current issues; Did You Know . . . ? which feeds you the information you need to become an informed investor; Your Brain versus Your Gut, which discusses how our instinctive responses to financial turmoil can damage our financial health; Understanding Risk, which provides a framework for managing investment risks; and Investment Myths & Fantasies, which exposes some of the snake oil peddled by the financial services industry.
I’d like to hear what you think about these blogs, so please send me any questions or comments and I’ll try to respond to as many as possible.