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.

Pesky Little Devils


I wish it wasn’t so hard to get the cork back into champagne bottles!  After release of the latest report on GDP growth in the third quarter (Q3), showing it grew at an annual rate of 2.9% instead of the expected 2.5%, I was ready to pop the cork and celebrate. Unfortunately, there were two … Continue reading Pesky Little Devils

Enough = Enough


Did anybody notice that, while the stock market is leaking, the dollar has gained 2.6% so far this month?  This reflects market confidence that the Fed will raise interest rates in December.  But, it comes on top of a 36% appreciation since 2011.  The dollar has gotten too strong and presents a major headwind to … Continue reading Enough = Enough

Guilt + Disappointment = Suicide


Everybody is aware that suicide is a major problem among veterans, averaging 20 dead veterans every day.  (A terrorist bomb killing 20 Americans every day would not be tolerated.)  Veterans are only 8.5% of the population but are 18% of total suicides. A new study by the Veterans Administration showed something else:  60% of all … Continue reading Guilt + Disappointment = Suicide

A Difference Without A Meaning?


An unscientific survey by my untrained ear suggests there may be a nuanced difference in the adjectives that Republicans and Democrats use to describe each other. Democrats describe Republicans as “stupid” or “Neanderthal,” while Republicans describe Democrats as “bad” or “evil.”  Which is worse – stupid or bad? If racial diversity is a virtue, why … Continue reading A Difference Without A Meaning?

For Your Listening Pleasure


We interrupt this nauseating presidential campaign to bring you this breaking news: There is a big world out there! In Iraq, the battle to retake Mosul is underway, with 100 thousand Arab soldiers rooting out 5 thousand ISIS members inside Mosul, the scene of the first dramatic victory by ISIS.  This suggests that Obama’s strategy … Continue reading For Your Listening Pleasure

Incentive To Binge


Discussion of most economic issues usually come from one of the three primary schools of economics, i.e. Classical or Austrian, Keynesian, or Supply-side.  But, the divide changes when discussing whether the Fed should be raising interest rates.  Austrian economists would want the budget balanced every year and would see an increase in interest expense as … Continue reading Incentive To Binge

The Lehman Line


Readers know I’ve been worried that the next “Lehman Moment” or Black Swan event, triggering a financial collapse, was more likely to come from Deutsche Bank (DB) than any other company in the current environment, and I have been watching it closely. You’ll recall this company is the largest bank in Europe, with a net … Continue reading The Lehman Line

Client Service !!


I’m proud of my wife! We have an 86-year-widow who has been our client over twenty years.  This lady has enjoyed remarkable health and has never had any surgery.  Finally, she needed dental surgery and had some understandable anxiety about this.  My wife volunteered to stay with her the night before, to drive her to … Continue reading Client Service !!

Second Deadly Sin


For those gluttons of punishment, my latest quarterly column for Inside Business lives here: 

Better To Know or . . . Not


Different people like to use their financial planner in different ways.  Some see us a family CFO and consult with us regularly, which is our preferred role.  Other people see us as investment managers.  Still others see us as estate planners.  Some see us as budgeting experts.  We wear many hats, indeed! One of our … Continue reading Better To Know or . . . Not

Losing Like A Man ??


Former P.O.W. John McCain has long been one of my political heroes.  When he was trashed last year by Donald Trump, I wrote that Trump was just another egocentric egomaniac and unworthy of consideration.  Don’t forget — when McCain lost to Obama, McCain never whined that the election was rigged — because his love of … Continue reading Losing Like A Man ??

The Boglelization of America


I love Jack Bogle, and I love Harry Markowitz too . . . but I fear Kool-Aid drinkers. Jack Bogle is the legendary founder of the Vanguard Group and father of many, many long cost mutual funds and exchange traded funds.  He is famous for minimizing fund expenses.  He is also famous to telling investors … Continue reading The Boglelization of America

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