The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Wisdom From Uncle Warren


I love Warren Buffett!  He is not just another egocentric, egomaniac billionaire.  He remains humble and even makes jokes about himself.  He gives mostly excellent advice to investors.  Of course, he can sometimes confuse investors, as he did this weekend. The media coverage was that he believes passive investing is always superior to active investing. … Continue reading Wisdom From Uncle Warren

Snoozng Thru SOTU


Most of us know the simple, guilty pleasure of falling asleep during the annual State-of-the-Union (SOTU) address by the President.  These speeches are usually bombastic partisan ranting without meaning, which make the sleeping even better.  However, the next one should be worth an extra cup of coffee at dinner.  It will be different. Since the … Continue reading Snoozng Thru SOTU

Political Cancer


I’ve written many times that the cancer on the body politic of America is gerrymandering.  It is the core of the political pollution that we see daily.  It discriminates against moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats, in favor of extreme Republicans and extreme Democrats.  Moderates can compromise and accomplish things, extremists cannot. Unfortunately, the fight has … Continue reading Political Cancer

No Promise, No Expectation


I have written several times that every President since Reagan has been a failure, because each has promised to “do something” about LOUD commercials on television. Bush II and Obama both claim at least partial credit for the Commercial  Advertisement Loudness Mitigation” (CALM) Act, which theoretically limited the LOUDness of commercials to the programming before … Continue reading No Promise, No Expectation

Know Thy Custodian!


“Must-see TV” consists of only two shows for me, i.e., Fareed Zakaria’s GPS on CNN and Sixty Minutes on CBS.  Last night, I was slow finding the remote after Sixty Minutes, when some fictional show began.  Before I could cut off the TV, I heard the word “Ponzi” and was hooked.  I had to listen! … Continue reading Know Thy Custodian!

Janet’s Woes


The two primary methods of controlling the economy are monetary policy (by the Fed) and fiscal policy (by Congress).  Since the 2008/9 Global Financial Crisis, the United States has only had monetary policy to control the economy, as Congress has been worse than useless.  To the extent that our economy has recovered, we can thank … Continue reading Janet’s Woes

Needless Hypocrisy


Last time . . . The Democrats were right, and the Republicans were wrong. This time . . . The Republicans are right, and the Democrats are wrong. You will recall the summer of 2011 when the Republicans threw such a hypocritical hissy-fit about the Debt Ceiling that Standard & Poor’s actually lowered the credit … Continue reading Needless Hypocrisy

Crazies In The Senate


The difference between my children and my guns is that . . . I know how many children I have. The difference between the NRA and myself is that . . . I am a SANE gun-lover. The difference between the Senate Republicans and myself is that . . . I have a conscience! I … Continue reading Crazies In The Senate

48 Hours


During a mere 48 hours this week, the following information was released: 1.  The Small Business Optimism Index rose again in January, as it has for the last three months, driven largely by the increase in small business owners who think the next three months will be a good time to expand their business.  (This … Continue reading 48 Hours

Quick & Dirty Simplicity


Momentum investing, channel investing, trend following — all are buzzwords and/or excuses for not knowing economic pressure points or individual stocks. Addiction to these approaches stems from their quick and dirty simplicity.  Here is a good example: You can quickly see the Dow shows no indication that it is going to break out of its … Continue reading Quick & Dirty Simplicity

Look Who’s Back ?


Nobel prize-winning investment theory Modern Portfolio Theory found that performance is increased, while risk is decreased, over the long-term, if the portfolio is allocated across the many investment classes, which includes European stocks.  However, those investors who had any European exposure lost badly a few years ago and are reluctant to to embrace that hot … Continue reading Look Who’s Back ?

Slippery Slope


It happened the first Saturday after the November presidential election.  I was watching The Golf Channel, when they started talking about the impact of Trump on golf and how his election might affect play at his already-expensive golf courses.  It got me thinking about Trump, but it was Saturday, which is my “news-free” day.  I … Continue reading Slippery Slope

A Caffenated Clue


Starbucks has always been an enigma to me.  Its customers seem fiercely loyal to the brand, for some reason.  My perception has been that the coffee is too bitter and too expensive.  Now, it seems there is a relationship to love of Starbucks and political leanings.  Take a look at this chart. The more you … Continue reading A Caffenated Clue

Trump Triggers ?


Senator John McCain has always been one of my personal heroes.  When he was trashed last year by then-candidate Donald Trump, who even denigrated McCain’s war record as a prisoner-of-war, I saw very clearly the naked character of Trump.  Readers may recall I wrote that Trump was trash and not fit to be president.  Trashing … Continue reading Trump Triggers ?

Gonna soak up the sun . . .


Existentialists view death as the ultimate fraud.  They fear boredom before death far more than death itself.Sheryl Crow is a superbly talented musician and singer.  She has been quite successful, with an estimated net worth of $40 million.  At 54, she still retains that certain hard athletic beauty.  She has long been one of my … Continue reading Gonna soak up the sun . . .

Brit Thoughts


David Cameron was Prime Minister of Great Britain from 2010 until July of last year, when he lost the Brexit vote and resigned.  I attended a lecture of his yesterday and took away the following thoughts: 1.  He is not worried about England following the Brexit vote, just sad that the many impending inconveniences are … Continue reading Brit Thoughts

Smartest Guys Somewhere


There are those who think the legendary investment house of Goldman Sachs has “the smartest guys in the room.”  I am not one of those.  However, I do think their research department has “the smartest guys in Goldmen Sachs.”  Their research is always thoughtful and generally well-written!  Here are five thoughtul quotes from their latest … Continue reading Smartest Guys Somewhere

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