Depending where you are around the globe, 2009 is either history or soon to be. Like Christmas last week, the holiday falls so that it will be a long weekend for most. And here are five items you might wish to check out as we kick off 2010.
- I don't want to close out the year without noting the passing of Christopher Browne, who died at the age of 62 from a heart attack this month. Browne was one of the partners of legendary value investing firm Tweedy, Browne in New York. Reading interviews with him in the pages of publications like Forbes in the last half of the 1980s and 1990s played a huge role in my development as an investor. Jason Zweig wrote a fine remembrance of the man in The Wall Street Journal. Rest in peace, Mr. Browne.
- Peter Brimelow covers the world of investment newsletters for MarketWatch. His latest column ranks the top ten performing letters of 2009. Equities Special Situations comes in first, racking up a gain of 174%. The rest include famous names like Harry Schultz and Ruff Times.
- Rachel Benepe manages the First Eagle Gold Fund, and she recently appeared on CNBC to discuss her firm's "gold as insurance" approach. The interview lasts five minutes. It took place on 12/22 with gold into its current correction (or what I believe is a correction). She said gold-as-insurance makes sense now more than ever. No argument from me.
- Niall Ferguson is always worth reading. And earlier this week he penned an essay on China -- "The Decade the World Tilted East" -- in the Financial Times (freely available on RealClearMarkets.com). This is lengthy, and you probably should print it out and read it.
- Finally, here's a consideration of the three rules of human conduct -- iron, silver and gold. No, we're not talking metals here. The linked piece was written by a man named Wayne Jackson in 1998, based on a course developed by T.B. Larimore (who died in 1929). Committing ourselves to living by the Golden Rule would be a great way to start 2010.