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.

Economic Oceanography


As I look out my window, I see the beautiful Chesapeake Bay, where it enters the Atlantic Ocean.  Even though it normally looks placid and peaceful, I know there are many currents I cannot see.   Millions of gallons of water flow by every day, slipping beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean as the water … Continue reading Economic Oceanography

Buying Happiness


A recent study found that people experienced greater happiness as their income rose, which is not  surprising.  But, it also found that rate of growth in happiness slows down when income reaches about $75,000 annually.  More money increases happiness less and less. At that point, spending has a greater impact on happiness than income.  But, … Continue reading Buying Happiness

Loved To Death


In 1919, Congress passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, beginning the Era of Prohibition.  None of the earlier 17 amendments were ever as unpopular with the American people as that one.  Fourteen years later, that amendment was repealed.  Yes, an amendment can be repealed. Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has now opined … Continue reading Loved To Death

Reverse Income Averaging


Many novice investors think investing is easy.  All you have to do is stay invested in stocks when the market is rising, but move to cash when the market is falling.  Simple, right?  The stock market is predictable, right? Numerous studies have found that “market timing” should be left to the hedge fund techies, not … Continue reading Reverse Income Averaging

Good Wars ?


Most people fear trade wars, because they know a trade war can easily become a real-killing-people kind of war.  Most economists fear trade wars, because it destroys the principle of comparative advantage, reducing the standard of living on all sides.  Fortunately, on March 1st of this year, the President assured us that “trade wars are … Continue reading Good Wars ?



For years, I have worried about the impact of too much news-watching.  It can drain a person emotionally and suck them into a “group-think.”  It can also make a person very boring.  So, I have practiced a “news-celibacy” day — voluntarily not watching any news for 24 hours.  In my case, it was Saturday. Then, … Continue reading Backsliding

Selling My Vote ?


Imagine . . . a loved one has gone missing, when you hear a rumor they may still be alive.  Imagine that surge of hope and gratitude that floods your heart.  I’m feeling that way!  There is a rumor that Americans are suddenly indignant about their loss of privacy.  Is that too good to be … Continue reading Selling My Vote ?

Stockbrokers Win, Americans Lose


Historically, stockbrokers have been mere salesmen, pushing high commission or hidden commission products onto their unsuspecting clients.  Out of that swamp, Registered Investment Advisors emerged.  They embraced the Fiduciary Standard, which requires no hidden fees and full disclosure of any conflicts of interest.  Stockbrokers were held to a mere “suitability standard” which is virtually no … Continue reading Stockbrokers Win, Americans Lose

Ten Year Facelift ?


It is hard to believe it has been ten years since the stock market began crashing into the worst recession since the Great Depression.  The key event was the collapse of Bear Stearns, a well-respected investment house.  In the aftermath, amidst cries of “Never Again,” a well-intentioned Congress produced the Dodd-Frank legislation. Like any complex … Continue reading Ten Year Facelift ?

Bravo, Mr. President


Yesterday, the President announced the appointment of his old friend, Larry Kudlow, as his new chief economic advisor.  I applaud this appointment! Larry is not a traditional economist, lacking any graduate degrees in the subject.  But, he has been a serious student, especially of Supply-side economics and even worked for Arthur Laffer, the father of … Continue reading Bravo, Mr. President



In 2011, Putin was running for “re-election” in Russia, when the American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sparked mass demonstrations of Russians by her rhetoric against the phony election.  Putin was furious with Hillary for her interference in Russian elections. In 2016, he returned the favor by interfering with American elections — employing technology as … Continue reading Smokescreen!

Shifting Gears


The stock market has moods.  Sometime, it is in a bad mood and frets excessively about everything, especially political antics.  Sometimes, it is in a good mood and ignores political antics.  I think the market is in a good mood.  It dropped temporarily last week when Gary Cohn resigned but barely moved today when Rex … Continue reading Shifting Gears

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