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.

Kudos to Harvey


A month ago, we were Democrats & Republicans, conservatives & liberals, blacks & whites, neo-Nazi’s and Black Panthers.  Underneath all those pejorative labels, we are sometimes reminded that we’re all Americans.  Watching the huge non-governmental response to Hurricane Harvey, we are reminded of that and should be proud of ourselves.  I salute all those thousands … Continue reading Kudos to Harvey

A Good Problem ?


There is a nation that is considered wealthy, where workers earn good wages.  There is another nation that is not wealthy, where workers earn lower wages.  For some reason, workers earning low wages migrate to the wealthy nation, where they can earn a better living for their families.  The leader of the wealthy nation becomes … Continue reading A Good Problem ?

Slow-Motion Tragedy


It was a year after Katrina devastated New Orleans that we happened to attend a conference that was held in the French Quarter, which was almost untouched by the hurricane.  My wife said that unique aroma of the French Quarter was stronger but otherwise the same.  Knowing there was devastation all around us, we were … Continue reading Slow-Motion Tragedy

Still A Healthy Mind


There are many pundits and thought leaders that I listen to, but I have a certain fondness for one in particular, i.e., Jeremy Siegel of Wharton.  Unfortunately, he is having serious health issues, and he is in my prayers.  During his treatments, he is visited weekly to capture a few thoughts for those of us … Continue reading Still A Healthy Mind

How Many Is Enough?


2,388 — That’s the number of American mothers who lost their sons in Afghanistan. One of the first things taught in the Special Forces Officers Course was that the ultimate weapon is not the atomic bomb.  It is the guerilla — small, agile, and capable of a thousand pin-pricks.  In order to win the war, … Continue reading How Many Is Enough?

Faint Praise


I have been a member of the National Association of Business Economics (NABE) for many years.  While it is strictly a non-partisan organization, it is on the more conservative end of the political spectrum, especially compared to the more liberal American Economics Association, which is favored by academic economics.  NABE is a voice for working … Continue reading Faint Praise



Sometimes, I feel like a nag.  You don’t need to watch the news 24/7.  It is unhealthy, especially now that the news has devolved from partisan bickering to complex investigations to the President’s moral compass.  Like all things, moderation is the key.  Take a 24-hour vacation from the news.  Watch Netflix.  Read a book.  Take … Continue reading 24/6

Two Good Legs . . . only


I’ve been expecting a significant market correction since Spring and used a tripod to explain it.  One leg supporting the market is economic data, which has been reliably good.  That data has not been great — just good enough to be sustainable over a long period.  We have examined the numerous economic cycles but concluded … Continue reading Two Good Legs . . . only



Many people believe that Amazon is consuming a larger and larger share of retail sales, leaving small retailers vulnerable. (The President is among those people.)  Small retailers have long been an important part of the economy but are declining.  Yesterday’s retail sales report seemed to confirm that, because it showed that online sales increased 1% … Continue reading “Amazonization”

Memories . . .


I truly miss . . . President George W. Bush and . . . President George Bush and . . . President Ronald Reagan and . . . President Gerald Ford and even . . . President Richard Nixon!

Hillbilly Retirement


Long before JD Vance wrote the groundbreaking Hillbilly Elegy last year, my cousin referred to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program as the “hillbilly retirement system.”  She noted her family relatives in the Appalachian region looked forward to “getting on disability” since there were so few jobs worth having.  Sadly, she was right! In 1997, there … Continue reading Hillbilly Retirement

Not Now . . . Later


The Volatility Index or VIX is an option allowing investors to make bets (as opposed to investing) on the volatility of the stock market.  It is often called the “Fear Index” – as fear rises, so does the VIX. The VIX has been low and boring since the November election.  But, it suddenly spiked almost … Continue reading Not Now . . . Later

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