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.

A Silk Purse?

Living close to the water in a coastal community, sea level rise is not an academic issue to me – it is personal.  I know we cannot just build a wall to hold back the sea, nor can we elevate entire cities, but I have been impressed with how effective “improved drainage” can be, including large storm water retention ponds.  It is not a simple…

According To Oz

While I would not do any business with Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, I do have great respect for their research and just read their 2019 outlook.  In a word, they are quite bullish on December of this year but less bullish on 2019, predicting only a 5% rise in the S&P, mostly in the first half of the year, before economic growth slows to…

According to Oz

While I would not do any business with Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, I do have great respect for their research and just read their 2019 outlook.  In a word, they are quite bullish on December of this year but not very bullish on 2019, predicting a 5% rise in the S&P, mostly in the first half of the year, before economic growth slows to…

Thanksgiving Wish

A veteran of the Pacific Theater during World War II, Bert Aaron is a patriot, living in Williamsburg.  I am thankful that he has been a friend, a client, and an inspiration for so many years!  The local paper, Virginia Gazette, just published his latest column.  With his permission, I quote it below: ********************************************************************************************************************************************************************** Stop.  Hold on, take a breath.  The locomotive is running away…

America, Last Time

It is not news that bad news is piling up.  The good news of improving corporate earnings is burdened by the growing geopolitical problems worldwide. For the U.S., we have clearly entered a “recession” but NOT the type we fear.  It is a “growth recession,” the rate of growth is receding, not the size of the economy.  Earnings growth this year has been about 15%…

Take A Break, Please

The Fed has been under increasingly heavy criticism.  No president has ever been happy when the Fed is raising interest rates, but the current one is especially loud.  Now, Wall Street is beginning to complain more loudly as well. There is a belief that rising interest rates mean falling stock prices, and it’s only logical . . . in the long run.  History tells us…

Treason!

Some years ago, a client asked me what was “this Google thing?”  After explaining what a search engine does, I added that Google was the greatest shredder of privacy in the history of the planet.  Then, Facebook came along. If you have not yet read Wednesday’s article in The New York Times, it is well worth the read.  Here it is:    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/14/technology/facebook-data-russia-election-racism.html?action=click&module=inline&pgtype=Homepage You will learn that…

Monday’s Autopsy

The market was already nervous before the 9:30 AM open on Monday.  Higher and higher interest rates were bad enough, but the market was also frightened by a senior trade negotiator who predicted a long, slow fight with China, with no end to the trade war in sight.  Then, the world’s largest company, Apple, was downgraded when several of its suppliers downgraded 2019 earnings.  Later…

Weak Snorting

My investment outlook is evolving.  Two months ago, the economic data was unrelentingly bullish.  Now, cracks have appeared (see both ISM reports).  This does NOT suggest the recession that investors fear.  Not all recessions are created equal. The stock market has been propelled over the past year or so by rapidly rising corporate earnings (EPS).  The second and third quarters were up 20% on a…

Busybody Advisors

You should always shower and brush your teeth.  You should always respect your elders and do your homework.  And, you should always get a professional financial plan designed exclusively for you and then follow every detail. While I am a Certified Financial Planner professional, I haven’t prepared a written “financial plan” in years.  My initial concern was that a  written financial plan tends to be…

What’s Wrong With Young People?

My parents were part of the “Greatest Generation” and had a rather low opinion of my generation of “baby boomers.”  We were a bunch of dirty, long-haired, pot-smoking, commie-hippies who were too self-involved to love our country.  Of course, that was before we got jobs, babies, and mortgages.  Now, we-boomers look down our boomer-noses at the “millennials” or Generation X as being useless techno-addicts, too…

Good News = Bad News

The Bureau of Labor Statistics issues their monthly “Jobs Report” on the first Friday of each month.  It is arguably the most watched report on Wall Street.  Today, before it was released, Dow futures indicated it would open up 250 points.  As soon as the report was issued, it dropped to 180 points. It was a good jobs report, with 250 thousand new jobs created…

And, The Beat Goes On

It takes hip boots to wade through the governmental reports issued each day.  In one obscure report by the Treasury Department on Monday, they estimated that they will have to issue bonds (or take on debt) at a faster pace.  The debt to be issued in FY 2019 is 17% more than FY 2018 but 160% more than FY 2017. My Democratic friends will ask…