Of Crystal (and Brass) Balls: Picking Investments

August 13, 2009

Stocks are down over five and 10 years, but the immediate future looks brighter.


  • John Osbon, Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Osbon Capital Management; and 

  • Bill Singer, Shareholder in the Securities Practice Group of the law firm Stark & Stark and Publisher of http://BrokeAndBroker.com and http://RRBDLaw.com

    Bill Singer: I can't tell you how refreshing it was to read these words from John's [John Osbon] last response:

    I struggle, along with everyone else I suppose, to separate certainty from uncertainty. With stocks, the only certainties are current yield, current price and timing. Everything after that is a guess--or a probability might be a better word.

    That's the exact confidence you should be looking for: You want to use a professional who doesn't think he knows it all or is so confident that there are no provisions made for mistakes. You want someone who has been around long enough to know that the only certainties are what you can pull up on a real-time quote machine and "everything after that is a guess ..."

    It's those clowns who appear on television and foolishly suggest that they saw everything coming, know exactly what's what now, and have a crystal ball for the future that you should run from as quick as your feet will carry [you]. Wall Street is, at best, a land of the blind where the one-eyed Jack is King. Arrogance is in ample supply. Educated risk and due diligence are often discarded virtues. Seek out the Osbons of the financial landscape, and you will likely be better served.

To read the entire Intelligent Investing Panel interview, visit: