The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Aging Agelessly ?

05/30/2016

There are tests to measure how well a person understands the wide world of finance.  They are called financial literacy tests.  There are also tests to measure how confident people feel in their understanding of finance, called financial confidence tests.  Not surprisingly, both test scores rise as a person ages but only until a point, … Continue reading Aging Agelessly ?

Dying Inside-Out

05/28/2016

This afternoon, the neighborhood will celebrate Memorial Day with an old-fashioned party of hot dogs, hamburgers, and all the unhealthy American food a red-blooded person could want.  Neighbors will re-connect after a long winter, I guess.  Everybody will be happy to see each other. This morning, my 93-year-old father, who is a veteran of the … Continue reading Dying Inside-Out

120th Birthday

05/26/2016

Happy Birthday to you,Happy Birthday to you,Happy Birthday, Dow Jones Industrial Average,Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuuuuu  !!!Yes, today is the 120th birthday of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and you would expect that it would be a time of celebration.  Instead, Wall Streeters have begun slinking into shadows, afraid to identify themselves.  They don’t understand the … Continue reading 120th Birthday

A Glass Half FULL

05/25/2016

There are bears and bulls, of course.  However, my experience is that there are fewer bears and bulls than expected but more perma-bears and perma-bulls than expected.  In other words, some observers never change their view, e.g., they always think the stock market will rise or always think the market will fall.  Their opinion never … Continue reading A Glass Half FULL

Branding America

05/20/2016

Nobody will ever say Donald Trump is not a great branding genius.  He easily branded Jeb Bush as “low-energy”, Cruz as “lying-Ted, Rubio as “little Mario”, and Clinton as “crooked Hillary.” However, the brand he built around himself is worth billions, probably 40% of his net worth.  He makes millions each year from others who … Continue reading Branding America

The Only Game In Town

05/19/2016

Starting at 1400 hours or 2 PM yesterday, I’m sure the traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange were calling for motion-sickness bags, as the 200-point roller-coaster ride began. That’s when the Fed released their minutes from the last meeting of the FOMC or Federal Open Market Committee, which decides on changes … Continue reading The Only Game In Town

Advice 4 Young Advisors

05/19/2016

Everyday, I receive emails from various firms that offer to teach me how to network and get referrals from centers-of-influence, such as attorneys, CPAs, and insurance agents.  My advice to young advisors is to hit the delete key. Over many decades of experience, I have received a handful of referrals from attorneys and exactly zero … Continue reading Advice 4 Young Advisors

Moderation In All Things

05/18/2016

I like, enjoy, and respect Warren Buffett.  He is not an advocate of frequent trading, especially to time the market ups-and-downs, and he has said his favorite holding period for a stock is forever.  His comments are frequently cited as corroboration for the “buy-and-hold” approach to investing.  Unfortunately, this approach has become more than a … Continue reading Moderation In All Things

Uncertainty = Inflation ??

05/16/2016

Back in the good old days (you know, the 1970’s), inflation was a real problem.  The solution to solve that problem depended on your economic dogma.  The Monetarists argued that inflation occurred when you had too many dollars chasing too few goods.  The goods available for purchase would soak up whatever dollars are available for … Continue reading Uncertainty = Inflation ??

Everybody A Victim

05/15/2016

Every religion has been persecuted.  Some have been persecuted horribly on a huge scale, like the Jews.  Some have been persecuted for long periods, like the early Christians in the Holy Lands or, more recently, the 22 young men beheaded on a Libyan beach for being Christians.  Some persecutions have already receded in our Western … Continue reading Everybody A Victim

Bernie Sanders Is Right

05/12/2016

Bernie Sanders and I share at least one attitude, i.e., neither of us trust Goldman Sachs.  Of course, one of us does respect the research department of that investment banking giant.  For example, here are some of their latest thoughts: 1.  The GDP of the U.S. will drop from 2.4% last year, to only 1.4% … Continue reading Bernie Sanders Is Right

Red Sky At Night

05/10/2016

Because the spew of economic data is similar to drinking from a fire hose, it is helpful to focus on the most important data — employment.  If employment is improving, the economy cannot really be too bad. After a string of good employment reports, the April report released last week disappointed most analysts.  Of course, … Continue reading Red Sky At Night

Unforgetable

05/08/2016

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Dwight Eisenhower, my father, Chesty Puller, Irene Gut, Trammel Crow, all American POWs, especially John McCain, and all soldiers who died on the battlefield, of all armies.  They are all personal heroes of mine.  I’m not sure if I love them more or respect them more, but they are all personal … Continue reading Unforgetable

Neutron Bonds II

05/06/2016

Do you recall the initial collapse of the stock market in 2008 was caused by “securitized mortgage-backed securities?”  A bunch of mortgage loans were assigned to a bundle, and pieces of that bundle would be sold to bond investors.  It was ideal for the banks making loans, because those newly-made loans would not stay on … Continue reading Neutron Bonds II

Slowing Success ??

05/06/2016

Marketwatchers will testify that the most important economic report each month is the “Jobs Report” which is issued on the first Friday of each month.  In other words, today! Briefly, 160 thousand new jobs were created last month, with the unemployment rate remaining at 5%.  Economists were expecting 200 thousand new jobs. But, what does … Continue reading Slowing Success ??

Trump-care ??

05/04/2016

Some people are smart.  Some people are smart and educated.  Some people are smart,educated, and nice.  Carolyn McClanahan is one of the latter.  Trained as a medical doctor, she subsequently became certified as a financial planner, combining two arcane disciplines into something understandable.  She also writes a blog, and here is the link to a … Continue reading Trump-care ??

I Was Wrong

05/04/2016

I predicted Donald Trump would surely implode long before now, but he is now the presumptive nominee.  Kudos to him on that accomplishment! But, why are my many Republican friends bouncing between despair and embarrassment?  My many Democratic friends seem to be bouncing between glee and rapture. I would caution my Democratic friends not to … Continue reading I Was Wrong

Negative Interest Rates

05/03/2016

The concept of negative interest rates is getting a lot of attention in the financial press and on Wall Street.  This reflects just how “upside-down” the world has become.  Imagine going to the bank for a car loan.  You still have to pay it back, but they will pay YOU interest for borrowing the money, … Continue reading Negative Interest Rates

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