Monday, April 22, 2013

Investment Lessons from 'The Walking Dead'

Here's a snippet from my latest MoneyBeat post, "Investment Lessons from The Walking Dead."
Gene Page/AMC
You can learn a lot about investing by watching a show about a zombie apocalypse. 
I’ve been moonlighting as a TV critic for our Speakeasy blog, writing the recaps for AMC’s hit show The Walking Dead. I’d watch the show, then watch it again, then watch it again, looking for themes, angles, the human element that raised the story above a mere zombie gorefest. 
What I also realized is that there’s some good lessons in the show for investors, as well. Because, really, investing these days is not exactly unlike trying to survive in a plague-riddled Georgia countryside after a zombie apocalypse hits.  
Here, then, is a short list of lessons that investors can draw from The Walking Dead, with relevant market analogies from two long-term, value-focused money managers and fans of the show, Jim O’Shaughnessy of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management in Stamford, Conn., and John Schwinghamer of ScotiaMcLeod of Montreal. 
Don’t toy with zombies, kid. In season two, young, curious Carl Grimes comes across a zombie trapped in mud. Rather than run, Carl plays games with the zombie. He toys with it, throws rocks, pokes it with a stick. Of course the zombie gets loose, nearly eats Carl, and creates havoc down the road.
Relevant market analogy: “A lot of companies are like zombies that are stuck in the mud, they’re moving but the lights aren’t really on,” said Schwinghamer, who’s also author of the book Purple Chips. “These are companies that keep diluting earnings, are top-line oriented and don’t do any favors for investors.” 
 You can read the rest at MoneyBeat.

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