The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Advising New Advisors

11/30/2015

Purportedly, it is an old mafia axiom that you should – keep your friends close and your enemies closer.  If true, doesn’t that also mean that – your enemies are closer to you than your friends?Over the decades, I’ve had clients who were older and younger than myself, although most have been older.  I’ve had both male … Continue reading Advising New Advisors

Investor Types

11/28/2015

Some investors just want to make a profit and pay little attention to the number or the amount of risks taken.  They want to buy stocks and sell them quickly for a profit.  I call them “gunslingers.” Some investors just want a stable income and pay nominal attention to the value of their portfolio.  They … Continue reading Investor Types

Life Imitating Ayn?

11/27/2015

While the Bible remains the best-selling book in history, the second best-selling book has long been Atlas Shrugged by the late Ayn Rand, the iconoclastic mother of Libertarians.  The premise of her classic is that America’s business leaders keep disappearing.  Conspiracy-lovers suspect the government is kidnapping them, swooping them away in black helicopters.  As it turns out, … Continue reading Life Imitating Ayn?

Thankful For . . .

11/25/2015

I am thankful that jobless claims fell by 12,000. I am thankful that durable goods production rose 3%. I am thankful that worker pay rose 0.4%. I am thankful that worker spending rose 0.1%. I am thankful that the savings rate rose to 5.6%. I am thankful I don’t have to merely guess about the … Continue reading Thankful For . . .

Waiting For Janet Godot

11/23/2015

Sixty-six years ago, Samuel Beckett wrote the great existential play Waiting For Godot.  In that play, several travelers are waiting for a very long time for the arrival of Godot.  The story focuses on the interrelationships while they wait . . . and wait.  Things get increasingly testy between them as they wait . . … Continue reading Waiting For Janet Godot

The Market That Didn’t Bark

11/17/2015

Just as Sherlock Holmes attached significance to a dog that didn’t bark, the stock market is usually telling us something when it doesn’t over-react. Most pundits expected the stock market would be down sharply on Monday morning following the Friday terrorist attacks in Paris.  However, by Sunday night, the futures market has actually turned slightly … Continue reading The Market That Didn’t Bark

20/20 Hindsight

11/14/2015

Was Saddam Hussein a bad man?  Absolutely!  Did he deserve to die?  Absolutely, as slowly and painfully as possible!  Is the world a better place without such a monster in it?  I’m not so sure anymore. But, how could the world not be a better place without such a sick, degenerate monster in it?  If … Continue reading 20/20 Hindsight

Peeking Into 2016

11/13/2015

While I cannot recall ever hearing anybody say that the legendary investment bank of Goldman Sachs was kind or charitable or even decent, I have often heard people say respectful things about the research department of Goldman Sachs.  Therefore, I try to follow their research closely.  Here are some of their latest expectations: 1.  World … Continue reading Peeking Into 2016

Forgiving and Forgetting

11/12/2015

How long does it take to “let bygones be bygones?”  Years ago, I heard a minister preach that you should forgive and forget when you are young.  When you are older, the forgetting gets easier but the forgiving gets harder.  That may be true. In January of 1970, I was discharged from the Army and … Continue reading Forgiving and Forgetting

Fear Not The Reaper

11/10/2015

One of the few affable economists in this nation is the highly-regarded Jeremy Siegel of Wharton.  Last week, he made two comments that, at first, appear incongruent.  First, he said the latest jobs report practically assures an interest rate increase when the Fed meets next month.  Second, he predicted the Dow could reach 20,000 next … Continue reading Fear Not The Reaper

Little Problems

11/07/2015

I have problems.  You have problems.  Everyone has problems.  But, not everyone has the same problems. Once a year, the Financial Planning Association teams up with the National Council of Mayors to host pro bono financial planning in twenty cities across the country, by CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (TM) Professionals, for those people who cannot afford such … Continue reading Little Problems

Short Term Myopia

11/06/2015

The most watched economic data point has always been the monthly “jobs report” published by the Department of Labor on the first Friday of each month.  Today, that report was just GREAT! Last month, 271 thousand jobs were created, far more than the 182 thousand that was expected.  The previous two months were revised higher … Continue reading Short Term Myopia

Investing Religions

11/03/2015

There are religions in the investing world.  One example is the Warren Buffett religion, that preaches you should buy what you like and keep it forever.  Another is the Benjamin Graham religion, that preaches you should not buy anything until you have exhaustively studied all financial information, all public information, and maybe a little private … Continue reading Investing Religions

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