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.

Fear > Greed

I think the first thing I learned in the first class of the first investment course I took in college was that “the pain of losing money far exceeds the joy of making money.”  To a college kid, it is hard to understand how the emotion of losing a thousand dollars is significantly worse than the emotion of making a thousand dollars.  After all, we…

Rand Quixote

I love the philosophy of Ayn Rand but find her followers too strident and too intellectually arrogant for my sensibilities.  That’s why I’m distrustful of Rand Paul, who was named after her, and is her principal acolyte in Congress. But, I applaud his efforts to stop the NSA invasion of our privacy.  He does not believe you have to surrender the last shred of your…

The More Things Change . . .

Apparently, I visited my late mother in November of 1998.  While cleaning out some of her possessions, I discovered a copy of my favorite magazine, The Economist, dated November 21st, 1998 that I must have left there.  Taking a trip down Memory Lane, I was bemused by the discussion of interest rates on page 75.  Here is a sampling: “The Chairman of the Federal Reserve…

Never Forget

I don’t know which poet wrote this, but I am thankful to them . . . as well as thankful to those who “paid the full measure” for the rest of us. Reminder of what Memorial Day is all about… It happens today, and in the past;Sacrifice made, for ours to last. Wives to widows, families torn;Gave their lives, for them we mourn. Gone forever,…

Good News Is Not Bad News

The stock market is bouncing around record highs.  I hate that — because investors start asking if it is time to sell.  “You know, it can’t go up forever.” That’s true – the stock market will go down . . . eventually.  But, I don’t think it is going down significantly anytime soon.  Take a look at this graph: Yes, we’ve seen this graph before,…

One Single-Issue Voter

Political-type people hate “splinter” voters, who vote on the basis of one single issue, regardless of all other policy issues.  You know, don’t bother me with the facts – plural – I only need one fact – singular!  For example, I have relatives who would gladly vote for Satan himself, if he would just outlaw abortion. I am also a one-issue voter.  By my standard:…

“Hard-to-Fill” with the “Hard-to-Find”

The American labor force is changing, and this could impact the actions of the Fed.  While most investors study the monthly Jobs Report on the first Friday of each month, most economists study the monthly JOLTS report.  This stands for Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. While the number of Job Openings ticked down slightly in April, reflecting the lousy Jobs Report in March, it…

Breakout or Breakdown ?

There are many approaches to investing, one of which is usually called “channel” investing.  Basically, it holds that stock values normally move within a predictable range.  Unless something unusual happens, it will stay within that range.  So, a channel investor will buy the stock when it is near the lower level of the range and sell it when it is near the upper level of…

Bouncing Back ?

It is true of capitalism that the seeds of every recovery are planted during the last recession, and the seeds of every recession are planted during the last recovery.  However, it does seem ironic to describe Russia in terms of capitalism, but it is fair. The Russian economy has been in free-fall for over a year.  GDP is probably down 8%, similar to the Global…

Success . . . I think

Surprisingly often, I remember a co-worker in Dallas from the late 1970’s.  She was a cigarette smoker, who believed she could quit smoking whenever she wanted.  However, she also believed that the self-discipline or will-power to quit was like a muscle — you have to exercise it!  So, she did not smoke on Fridays!  She exercised her self-discipline every Friday. I also have an addiction…

Lesson From Wine Country

I was fortunate to be in Napa, California, last week, where a friend told me the story of the Mondavi winery and recommended The House of Mondavi:  The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty by Julia Flynn Siler, which I did read on the long flight home.  (I suspect the saga of the Mondavi brothers may have been the seed for the CBS soap opera…

drip . . . drip . . . drip . . .

Companies are required to disclose their financial results on a quarterly basis.  This is known as the “confession season.”  Stock analysts estimate the company’s total earnings and earnings-per-share beforehand.  Their estimates are then averaged and published.  Normally, a company’s stock will increase if their financial results exceed the estimates or decrease if they don’t. The same reaction is true for the market indices, such as…

The Grieving Season ?

My mother died thirteen months ago, and I think about her several times every day.  All my friends, as well as the “experts,” say it is normal to grieve the loss of a loved one, and I do! But, I know the particular date that she died — March 30th, 2014 — which is a date-certain that many people don’t have.  Having a date-certain makes…

In Praise of Proctologists

Would you rather go to the airport and deal with TSA . . . or go to your proctologist’s office? You don’t have to arrive two hours early to see your proctologist. It is easier and less expensive to park your car at the proctologist’s office. Your proctologist doesn’t exchange pleasantries just to hear if you have a foreign accent. You don’t have to pass…