The Verdict Is In: Recovery from Economic Crises is Greatly Improved by Informed Monetary and Fiscal Policies

Contrary to Some Popular Views, the U.S. Learned from the Great Depression; Novel Policy Approaches Reduced Impact of Great Recession and Produced Speedier Recovery, say Norton Reamer and Jesse Downing, authors of a New Book, Investment: A History

BOSTON (February 2, 2016) – The actions taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve (the Fed) and U.S. Department of the Treasury following the 2007-2008 U.S. stock market crash were, in the end, a brilliant response to a truly frightening financial crisis and incipient major economic collapse. The economic impact of the crisis, while severe, was clearly contained. America experienced the gravest economic setback in 80 years, but one whose duration and magnitude fell far short of the country’s experience in the 1930s.

“I don’t think any other country can claim as brilliant a use of the economic toolkit as what was brought to bear in the United States,” says Norton Reamer, co-author of Investment: A History (Columbia Business School Publishing, February 2016). Reamer is also the founder and long-time CEO of United Asset Management, and former CEO of Putnam Investments. His co-author, Jesse Downing, is an investment professional in Boston. Continue Reading →

New Year’s Resolution for Savvy Investors: Look Back at the History of Investing for Lessons for 2016

Understanding History is a True Bonus for Investors to Be the Best Advocates for Their Own Financial Interests, Say Norton Reamer and Jesse Downing, Authors of a New Book, Investment: A History

Boston (December 15, 2015) – Thinking about how to improve your portfolio next year? Don’t forget the last three thousand.

A healthy understanding of investment history is a true bonus for investors – lay and professional alike – to avoid pitfalls and to be the best advocates for their own financial interests. Whether it’s running a personal retirement account or a university endowment, ancient history has lessons for portfolios today.

That’s according to Norton Reamer and Jesse Downing, co-authors of Investment: A History (Columbia Business School Publishing, February 2016). Reamer is also the founder of United Asset Management and former CEO of Putnam Investments, and Downing is an investment professional in Boston. The book traces the history of investment, from the ancient world to the present day, and draws lessons for today’s investors at all levels. Continue Reading →

The First Financial Commandment for the 21st Century: “Thou Shall Not Plead Total Investment Ignorance”

Investing Has Become More Democratic, But Greater Opportunity Means We All Have to be Better Advocates for Our Own Interests, say Norton Reamer and Jesse Downing, authors of a New Book, Investment: A History

BOSTON (November 2, 2015) – For thousands of years, the only people who qualified as “investors” were wealthy and politically connected landowners. Investment opportunities were few and accessible only to the elite. Yet in the blink of an eye, historically speaking, that world has been replaced by one full of investment opportunities for “everyman,” from stocks and bonds, to mutual funds, to life insurance, to pension plans, to real estate, and many other vehicles for investment.

“If people knew their history, they would marvel at the sheer range of investment opportunities now available to them,” says Norton Reamer, co-author of Investment: A History (Columbia Business School Publishing, February 2016). Reamer is also the founder of United Asset Management and former CEO of Putnam Investments. “The idea that investing has become democratic probably feels alien to most people, but investing is extremely democratic today compared to past eras. So it is incumbent on the average person to learn enough to be his or her own best advocate in taking advantage of all this new-found opportunity.” Continue Reading →

Five Archetypal Investing Mistakes Have Bedeviled Investors Through the Ages

Human Behavior Never Seems To Change, Many Investors Would Do Well To Learn From The Cautionary Tales Of History, say Norton Reamer and Jesse Downing, authors of a New Book, Investment: A History

BOSTON (Oct. 1, 2015) – For thousands of years, investors have been making the same mistakes over and over. So true financial literacy should include not just understanding the history of investment successes, but also investing failures. Unfortunately, the recent history of the financial crisis and Great Recession indicate that many investors—even professionals—have not learned those lessons.

“Decade after decade, we see markets collapse and fortunes vanish for the same basic reasons,” says Norton Reamer, co-author of the new book, Investment: A History (Columbia Business School Publishing, February 2016). “Most of the time the root cause is not some complex technical error. It’s just some new flavor of poor judgment.” Reamer is the founder of United Asset Management and Asset Management Finance, and he is the former CEO of Putnam Investments. His co-author, Jesse Downing, is an investment professional in Boston. Continue Reading →