Cartoons: What Can Dilbert Teach Us About Investing?

Jul 18, 2017
Cartoons, Research, Index Funds, Investing, Teaching Strategies, Stocks, Current Events

I was doing some research for an upcoming presentation and looking for ways to bring some levity to that “heavy” topic of investing. I didn’t realize that Dilbert could be such a great source of investing advice but I found myself nodding my head in agreement as I enjoyed this series of cartoons:

  • Message: Don’t mistake an increase in the stock price with “pure genius” when your stock pick may have benefitted from an overall increase in the level of the stock market. Be sure you understand how your stock picks perform RELATIVE to the market and not just on an absolute basis.


  • Message: You better know your alternatives otherwise someone who might have conflicts of interest (commissions based on products they sell you) will determine which alternatives they mention to you. Here’s a great pair of activities (here and here) to pair with this to help students understand index funds.

  • Message: Read Random Walk Down Wall Street to understand how difficult it is to “beat the market” and how quickly markets assimilate new information. For more information on the Wall Street Journal contest pitting dart-throwing monkeys vs. investing pros, check out this Priceonomics article.


Message: Tens of thousands of professionals are spending most waking minutes doing research to find good investment opportunities. To think you have an informational edge is folly.

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.