There has never been a time when Wall Street was NOT “climbing a wall of worry.” Today, there is considerable angst, because interest rates are TOO low. There are lots of interest rates but the benchmark that everybody watches is the rate on U.S. Treasury bonds that have a ten year maturity. Those rates began … Continue reading Is Good Bad ?
The Flinchum FileThoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
A perma-bear is someone who always thinks the glass is half-empty and that the stock market is going down. A perma-bull is someone who always thinks the glass is half-full and that the stock market is going up. My favorite professor from Wharton, Dr. Jeremy Siegel, is a perma-bull. (However, his 2013 forecast was THE … Continue reading A Perma-Bull To The End
It is pretty well-known that one active-duty service member commits suicide almost every day. It is less well known that 22 veterans commit suicide every day. It is believed that half kill themselves so their families can receive the insurance money. Veterans are extremely vulnerable to high-pressure, commission-driven salesmen. Frankly, they have no financial education … Continue reading Losing National Treasures . . . Every Day
My wife assures me that it is true, i.e., men are overly reluctant to stop the car and ask for directions. Huh? But, a new study by Genworth points out that women are overly reluctant to ask for financial advice. 61% of men want financial advice, whereas only 34% of women do. The other big … Continue reading A Walking GPS ?
Since the press focus this Memorial Day weekend is on the troubles in the Veterans Administration system of healthcare, I thought I would add my observations. I was discharged from the Army in 1970. The following year, the VA determined I was 20% disabled due to my injuries and started paying me $61 monthly. While … Continue reading Memorializing the VA
The CEO of Goldman Sachs once famously said the firm was doing “God’s Work.” That may or may not be true, but I am confident the highly-respected research department of that firm would never make such a comment. For example, here are some of their more useful comments: 1. The first quarter was worse than … Continue reading Squid-In-Chief
Flying out of Norfolk last week, the steel shank in my shoes set up the METAL detector. Instead of checking whether I was carrying a gun, they swabbed my hands for explosive residue. Flying out of San Francisco yesterday, the same steel shank in the same shoes did NOT set off the metal detector. However, … Continue reading TSA Absurdity
I keep thinking about one particular lecture last week. The speaker began by saying his parents told him that some things should never be discussed in mixed company, i.e., sex, religion, and politics. Today, he is adding a fourth subject, i.e., healthcare. That term is now too politicized. If you say something positive about healthcare, … Continue reading Great Idea . . . Lousy Timing
She always asked the rhetorical question of, when you drop a piece of toast, why does it land with jelly-side down, making the floor more difficult to clean up? Why cannot toast land jelly-side up? The same is true with market data. Yesterday, the benchmark interest rate on 10-year Treasuries dropped below 2.5%, the lowest … Continue reading A Hint From Heloise
I have been to South America once, Asia three times, and Europe at least twenty times, but the cleanest city I’ve ever seen is Salt Lake City. It is almost scary-clean. Even though it has undergone substantial redevelopment since I was here two years ago, the construction sites are even clean, which is hard to … Continue reading Too Clean or Too Wholesome?
Back when dinosaurs roamed the beach where I live, young financial planners were taught that debt is bad. That’s it — debt is bad, period. If you had to get a mortgage that was understandable, but it was still bad and should be paid off as soon as possible. By the turn of this century, … Continue reading Punishing a Good Deed With Bad Debt
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