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.

Thinking The Unthinkable

09/30/2016

It is not news that governments give out very generous pension plans.  Such generosity was originally considered a trade-off for relatively low wages compared to non-government workers.  That may have been a nice gesture then, but there are consequences now. To pay the pensions, governments put aside a certain amount of money each year to … Continue reading Thinking The Unthinkable

A Gun-Free Death ?

09/29/2016

I like guns and have lots of them.  Except when I travel by air, I am never without one.  Nonetheless, I believe this Second Amendment cult is stupid.  A country like Switzerland was safer, because veterans were encouraged to keep their rifles when they were discharged from military service.  A country like the United States … Continue reading A Gun-Free Death ?

Twice-In-One-Year?

09/28/2016

Readers will remember my concern in January that a major player in the derivatives market (Glencore) was floundering, which was increasing the possibility of systemic risk — a “Jim Fixx” event of sudden collapse.  Fortunately, the commodities giant was able to quickly sell enough assets to reduce their derivatives exposure, and their stock has doubled … Continue reading Twice-In-One-Year?

R.I.P. Arnie

09/26/2016

I never met the man but always knew it would be an honor to simply shake his hand.  Long before anybody named Tiger ever picked up a golf club, Arnold Palmer had already popularized the sport of golf.  But, he will not be remembered primarily for his golf ability.  He will be remembered for his … Continue reading R.I.P. Arnie

Shoveling Truce

09/26/2016

There is a lot of conversation these days about negative interest rates, something that Europe and Japan are experimenting with.  So, should the Fed take our interest rates down, like Europe and Japan, rather than up? NO!  This reminds me of a situation where you are digging a hole deeper and deeper, while your partner … Continue reading Shoveling Truce

Viewer’s Guide

09/23/2016

As you listen to the presidential debates on Monday, recall the website www.usdebtclock.org — go look at it now! Remember that our national debt is rapidly approaching $20 TRILLION. Remember that our debt-to-GDP ratio is 105% – a traditional “point-of-no-return.” Remember that there are about 4 million fewer workers now, compared to 2000, without assuming … Continue reading Viewer’s Guide

One More Time . . .

09/21/2016

I have told this story before but, with less than 50 days until the election, it is worth telling again. One of the most important things my father taught me was at age 13 when I was a paperboy.  I had just finished delivering all the newspapers and was pedaling my bike back home, when … Continue reading One More Time . . .

Stockbrokers Need Love Too

09/20/2016

If your stockbroker seems more worried and harassed than usual, show some kindness to him/her.  They are stewing in a witch’s brew of increased regulation and decreased understanding of their job. One of the changes in the Dodd-Frank bill was that the SEC was charged with task of developing rules so that stockbrokers could be … Continue reading Stockbrokers Need Love Too

Mere Lyrics . . . or something more?

09/18/2016

Jimmy Buffett – Growing Older But Not Up Lyrics I rounded first never thought of the worstAs I studied the shortstop’s positionThen crack went my leg like the shell of an eggSomeone call a decent physicianI’m no Pete Rose, I can’t pretendWhile my mind is quite flexibleThese brittle bones don’t bendI’m growing older but not upMy … Continue reading Mere Lyrics . . . or something more?

A Republican Lobbyist Speaks . . .

09/17/2016

I attended a lecture by a Republican lobbyist yesterday, who said, regardless of  who wins the White House . . . America loses.  (She did not say how she would vote.)  But, she did provide an interesting historical perspective. She started showing graphs of the polarization of Congress, between extreme Republicans and extreme Democrats.  Then, … Continue reading A Republican Lobbyist Speaks . . .

The Softer Side of . . .

09/16/2016

Normally, during my all-too-frequent hunting trips for continuing-education-credits, I search out lectures on economics and investing – you know, things I actually care about.  However, in the last few years, others have become more interested in the “softer” side of investing, called behavioral finance. It is well known that investors damage their investment performance by … Continue reading The Softer Side of . . .

The Decline of Banking

09/14/2016

When I taught the junior-level Economics of Money and Banking at the University of Texas in Arlington during the last century, I taught that the economic function of banks was to allocate credit across the economy effectively and efficiently.  Credit is like any other resource and cannot be wasted.  When someone takes bankruptcy and doesn’t pay … Continue reading The Decline of Banking

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