The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
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Welcome to The Flinchum File

I am an Accredited Investment Fiduciary at Bay Capital Advisors, an investment firm headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA. After retiring from Truist Bank, I started this firm to work more closely with a smaller number of clients, and it has been great! Our client load is about 25% of the national average.

Writing is not for the shy or the meek. It exposes a person’s mind and character. I hope you enjoy the view.

Ayn Rand Overdose


Readers know I have long been fascinated by the writings and philosophy of Ayn Rand.  They may remember my blog entry on December 5th of last year called “The Little Russian Girl Who Changed America.” This weekend, I have overdosed on her!  First, I watched a DVD entitled “Ayn Rand:  The Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged,” which … Continue reading Ayn Rand Overdose

Mother’s Milk


Investment analysts from the Warren Buffet school of investing often say that corporate earnings are “the Mother’s Milk of stock markets.”  If true, the babies must be getting fat and healthy. In the 2008 crash, corporate earnings for the S&P 500 dropped a staggering 92%.  But, take a look at this chart: Corporate earnings have … Continue reading Mother’s Milk

Growth Blues


During the fourth quarter of last year, our economy expanded at a 3% rate, and there was a collective sigh of relief.  We knew there was a slowdown during the first quarter.  A survey of economists expected the GDP growth rate for the first quarter would be only 2.5%, which is not great but certainly … Continue reading Growth Blues

The Smell in Nursing Homes . . . Trouble


You heard it here first — something stinks in the long-term-care insurance industry! Long-term-care insurance provides funds for some of the expenses related to nursing home care and other end-of-life expenses.  Insurance companies saw the massive baby-boomer generation headed into their golden years and smelled an opportunity to sell insurance. A brilliant marketing move by … Continue reading The Smell in Nursing Homes . . . Trouble

Parsing the French Election


Unfortunately, Sarkozy came in second in Sunday’s nationwide election.  This means he will face a run-off election with Socialist candidate Francois Hollande in two weeks. Sarkozy has been instrumental in the effort to impose fiscal discipline on Europe.  Unfortunately, he was also caught in the undertow of the European crisis.  Despite being a conservative, the … Continue reading Parsing the French Election

Time for Lift-Off ??


There has been a good deal of discussion about the slowness or the weakness of this recovery.  My analysis is that recoveries from financial collapse take longer than a normal garden-variety recession, because it takes so long to de-leverage or reduce debt levels.  But, here is another take on the slowness of this recovery. If … Continue reading Time for Lift-Off ??

“Sell in May and Go Away”


That is an old adage from the Wall Street days before air-conditioning, when New York was insufferably hot during the summer, and the Robber Barons who controlled the trading spent the summer on the shore. Indeed, for the last two years and three of the last four years, the market reached its high in May … Continue reading “Sell in May and Go Away”

A Good Life Deserves a Good Death


A few nights ago, we watched the new movie Iron Lady about Margaret Thatcher.  I expected an inspiring story about the rise of a grocer’s daughter to become the first female prime minister of England.  Instead, it was a touching study of dementia, i.e., that slow descent into madness before death.  Hearing others talk about things … Continue reading A Good Life Deserves a Good Death

Column Time


For those few folks who do not subscribe to Inside Business, my latest quarterly column can be found here:  I don’t know why the online version never looks as good as the print version, but that is just another reason to subscribe.

Friday Night at the Flinchums


Sometime ago, I bought a DVD on the PBS website called “The Crash of 1929” and watched it last night.  (I really do have to get a life!  That’s no way to spend a Friday night, according to my wife.) Despite the ever-present fear that “it could happen again,” there are at least three differences … Continue reading Friday Night at the Flinchums

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