Blogs to watch (part 5): Klement on Investing

Blogs to watch (part 5): Klement on Investing
14 February 2020

If the finance and investing bloggers of the world came together, they could easily conspire to create a world-class publication to rival the Financial Times or the Wall Street Journal. I am regularly amazed about the quality of writing that is available for free online (if you know where to find it).

Among the most prominent contributors of such a potential "bloggers-turned-newspaper" publication would undoubtedly be Joachim Klement. The German-born, London-based investment strategist freely shares his extensive knowledge on his "Klement on Investing" blog. It has already become one of the better-known finance websites, and regularly gets quoted in other publications. Still, I believe most of my readers will not have come across "Klement" yet (he does refer to himself by his surname).

Here are five reasons why you might want to take a look at his writing:

1: Proven expertise of the author – not your average blogger!

Until recently, Klement was Head of Investment Research at Fidante Partners, an asset management firm with USD 41bn in client assets and nine offices around the world.

His previous career included stints as an investment strategist at a Swiss private bank, and as Chief Investment Officer at a firm that advises family offices and institutional investors.

There are not that many others who are in such a professional position AND choose to share their expertise through frequent, extensive writing. Klement's blog is not even aimed at selling anything. It seems to come out of a genuine passion for sharing and communicating.

2: True independence of thought

I enjoy reading Klement on Investing because it carries viewpoints that I would often disagree with: those typical of "metropolitan liberals". That's a tribe I'm rather bored of, and I primarily follow such writing to see what the other side of the argument thinks.

What I mightily respect Klement for is that he regularly disagrees with views that I would have expected of him. E.g., on the one hand, Klement is a self-professed fan of environmental, social and governance (ESG), and green investing. However, he also just published an article that shows just how non-sensical and ineffective some aspects of the movement to divest from fossil fuels are.

Kudos to anyone who independently looks at the evidence, instead of blindly sticking to the politically correct mainstream or the well-trodden, safe paths of established narratives.

3: Tangible stories

I am the first to admit that academic writing about finance and investing puts me to sleep. If it's too theoretical, I get bored and my mind switches off.

Klement regularly manages to inject a bit of fun into his writing.

E.g., read his column about why smokers are worse fund managers than non-smokers.

Or check out his article about mafia firms and their effect on the Italian economy.

Articles that have such lively themes are much easier to share with friends or family. They'll thank you for it, instead of thinking of you as a bore. If you have someone who you'd like to see learn more about investing, consider pointing them to Klement on Investing.

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4: Common sense advice that applies in real life

One of the reasons why I believe Klement on Investing has become a success is its down-to-earth approach to complex subjects – combined with conclusions that you can base your own actions on.

E.g., read Klement's column about the British and American obsession with getting on the property ladder. I love how he concludes that despite the statistical evidence pointing in one direction, human psychology and behavioural weaknesses could still make it advisable to head into the other direction. It's important to recognise that outside of the world of finance theory, there are also real-world realities and human flaws to take into account. E.g., even if real estate might not always win in terms of returns, it can be a worthwhile addition to your portfolio if it forces you to put aside a certain amount of money each month.

There is quite simply a lot of thoughtful, applicable wisdom on Klement's blog.

5: Content that helps beginners to become better investors

I notice from the feedback on my own blog that there are many people out there who are new to the world of do-it-yourself investing. Their emails remind me that so much of what is second nature to myself are complicated subject matters to get your head around for others. If you are still at the outset of your investing career, there is an overwhelming amount of stuff to learn about.

Klement on Investing regularly features articles that help investing newbies into the saddle. E.g., I loved this article asking what an asset class is and how they connect to the real-world economy.

Possibly even more useful for some of you, Klement hast just published a book: "7 mistakes every investor makes (and how to avoid them)". He calls it a "manifesto for smarter investing". I got a copy right after publication and read it the other night.

More seasoned investors should only buy it if they are major fans of Klement and want to support his work (as I do), or if they simply want to read every word he publishes. If you are at an earlier stage of your investing career, I recommend you check it out. It's a distilled version of his years of blogging. Why make mistakes yourself, when you could benefit from all the mistakes Joachim Klement has already suffered through for you?

Klement's book is published by Harriman House, the specialised British finance publisher (their website is always worth checking out – lot of goodies to discover!). It is, of course, also available on the likes of Amazon.

Bloggers who don't live in an ivory tower

As Klement is the first to admit (in his CV), he lost a large amount of money investing in technology stocks in the 1990s/2000s.

I regularly meet young analysts who have degrees in finance but have barely had any first-hand experience in the markets. I can't even begin to tell how highly I value someone having been through the highs and lows of the stock market using their own money. You need to have been in the trenches of investing to have a real idea of how difficult it is and what skills it requires.

With that in mind, I am always looking forward to receiving the latest missive from Klement on Investing. Hopefully, some of my readers will also find it useful.

Blog series: Blogs to watch

There's more to "Blogs to watch" than this Weekly Dispatch. Check out my other articles of this 30-part blog series.

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