I used to be a member of the World Future Society. One of the things I learned was that peering past tomorrow is not only difficult but was meant to be difficult. The greatest obstacle is our many unknown biases or prejudices, which keep us from being purely analytical. The most common bias is that … Continue reading To Be . . . Pollyanna . . . Or Not To Be
The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
When people think of fixed income, they usually think of bonds. They also think of bonds as “safe” investments. Bonds are NOT safe investments! The market value or worth of those bonds is NOT fixed. Only the interest payments from the bonds are fixed. The value of the bond is fixed only on the date … Continue reading The Fixed in Fixed Income
Did I mention that September is historically one of the two worst months for Wall Street? In addition to history working against us this year, there is now greatly increased violence in the Middle East, and bombardment of Syria is certain. Right after that, we have a budget battle and a dangerous debt ceiling battle … Continue reading Seasonal Fall
Most people suspect that a financial advisor should be smarter than the average bear. Everybody believes a financial advisor certainly should not be dumber than the average bear. But, I ask you — would an average bear be dumb enough to have done this 8-mile obstacle course in Wintergreen on Sunday, August 25th? www.spartanrace.com . … Continue reading God Bless The Average Bear
Insurance giant Nationwide Financial just completed a survey of adults with $100 thousand or more in investible assets. Not surprisingly, 58% of the respondents were afraid of death. However, 83% are afraid of another financial crisis. In other words, more people are afraid of another financial crisis than they are of dying. There are so … Continue reading Worry . . . Worry . . . Worry . . . Why?
Obviously, I study the thoughts of many. In no particular order, here are a few from today alone: 1. Best Long-Term Thinking: Roger Altman is Chairman of Evercore Partners and wrote in the current issue of “Time:” The U.S continues to enjoy built-in advantages that other nations lack: a growing population and the prospect of … Continue reading A Potpourri of Advice
The federal government could be shut down within six weeks! While the stock market is obviously pricing in the increasing uncertainty, where are the politicians? The Continuing Resolution that is currently funding the government expires September 30th. Shouldn’t somebody be hitting the panic button by now? It could be a false sense of security because … Continue reading The Dog That Didn’t Bark
I don’t know if it is true but have always heard that the expression “sell on the rumors of war and buy when you hear the cannons,” originated after one of the Napoleonic Wars, when several investors made a huge fortune buying stock at the low point. The point of this old adage is that … Continue reading Waiting To Hear The Cannons Fire
Most Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) have a low regard for stockbrokers. RIAs understand Nobel-Prize-Winning Modern Portfolio Theory, which demonstrates higher returns can come from portfolios with lower risk, which is the “Holy Grail” of investing,. This happens when you invest a portfolio in different asset classes appropriately. By comparison, a stockbroker has a “hot stock” … Continue reading “Psst, Mister . . . Want A Hot Stock Tip”
My view of Wells Fargo is that, unlike Goldman Sachs, they have a large number of good and decent people trapped in a hopelessly hidebound giant, that is more focused on yesterday’s ideas than tomorrow’s. Still, because they are so giant and publish to so many readers, I do follow their thinking. In no particular … Continue reading Too-Big-To-Think . . Out-Of-The-Box
Recently, I blogged about the Calvinistic roots of the Presbyterian Church and explained why that church is often considered “pro-business.” To my surprise, I received some criticism for that generalization and also learned that “pro-business” is not necessarily a compliment. Full Disclosure Time: The family church of the Flinchums was the venerable, old Indian Valley … Continue reading Laborare Est Orare
Women make up over half of the population. They are almost two-thirds of the total labor force. But, only one-third of financial advisors are female . . . why? I went to Indianapolis recently to hear a lecture by Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, author of How to Give Financial Advice to Women. It was primarily geared … Continue reading In Search Of . . . Women
My favorite professor at Wharton was undoubtedly Dr. Jeremy Siegel. Although he has the demeanor of the stereotypical absent-minded professor, he has a laser-sharp mind, capable of piercing tall mountains of data. However, he has never seen a glass as half-empty . . . only half-full. His landmark book, Stocks For The Long Run, is … Continue reading “Expect The Bull Market In Equities To Continue”
One of the longest-running debates among investment strategists is whether “growth” stocks or “value” stocks are best. This is called “style” investing. Which style is best? While there are long detailed definitions of the different styles, a shorthand distinction is that value stocks usually pay dividends while growth stocks usually do not. Importantly, there is … Continue reading Going Out-Of-Style ?
When enough people believe something will happen, that is often enough reason to make it happen. That is called a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” I am not a fan of technical analysis (using graphs and charts to find meaning) in the stock market. Comparing technical analysis to fundamental analysis is like comparing voodoo economics with classical economics. … Continue reading A “Technical” Ceiling ?