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.

Surveillance Capitalism


When cigarette companies report record profits, do you celebrate that they are selling so many cigarettes and that more people are getting lung cancer?  Of course not! Yet, that is the way I see the record profits reported yesterday by Facebook and other tech giants.  Does anybody say it’s really great that more privacy is … Continue reading Surveillance Capitalism

Waning Confidence ?


Did you ever wonder about the relationship between the economy and the elected children in Washington?  Of course, you did! Normally, consumer confidence increases as the job market improves.  However, even with a continuing good job market. consumer confidence has fallen for three straight months.  This is unusual.  Three months ago, consumer confidence was approaching … Continue reading Waning Confidence ?

Co-Equal Evil


I respect and appreciate whatever religion, spiritual faith, or philosophy that helps a person to find meaning or serenity in life.  Recently, I took an elderly person to their church, as they were too feeble to attend by themselves.  While I would never jump up to interrupt a service in anybody’s church, it was difficult … Continue reading Co-Equal Evil

Misplaced Passion ?


Feelings are intense about building the Trump Wall, and will remain that way.  But, keep the money in focus! Our national debt is approaching $22 TRILLION.  If interest rates increase a mere one-quarter of one percent on that debt, it will cost us another $55 billion each year. If we would shut down the government … Continue reading Misplaced Passion ?

Chugging Along Nicely


Generally speaking, increasing money supply causes prices to rise.  “Too many dollars chasing too few goods” is widely accepted as inflationary.  So, after the enormous injections of money by the Fed since The Great Recession, why is there still so little inflation?  A year ago, I wrote there are signs that inflation is breaking out.  … Continue reading Chugging Along Nicely

Half-Empty ?


Despite repeatedly failing the physical exam, I have often been called with a girl’s name of Pollyanna, due to my natural optimism.  Glasses are always half-full, not half empty.  Probably, that optimism derives from my undying love of country, my naive love of democracy, my enormous respect for capitalism or my well-studied belief in globalization.  … Continue reading Half-Empty ?

R.I.P. Jack Bogle


The three greatest names in investment history are Benjamin Graham, Harvey Markowitz, and Jack Bogle. Benjamin Graham literally wrote the original ground-breaking book on Security Analysis in 1934.  He advocated the accounting or fundamental approach to investing.  You must know all the details of the company’s financial statements.  You must interview management, as well as the … Continue reading R.I.P. Jack Bogle

Strange Bedfellows


I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Jeremy Siegel of the Wharton School, but I have zero respect for Goldman Sachs.  Yet, they agree that there will be a significant economic slowdown in 2019 — but NO recession.  They also agree that 2019 faces unusually great political and geopolitical risks, which could easily … Continue reading Strange Bedfellows

On The Other Hand . . .


One of my favorite thought-leaders is Bob Doll of Nuveen.  He has written six reasons for optimism in 2019 and six reasons for pessimism in 2019.  The six reasons he is optimistic are as follows, with my thoughts in parenthesis: 1.  The economy may be slowing but doesn’t appear headed for recession (Agreed) 2.  Likewise, … Continue reading On The Other Hand . . .

Code of Ethics


The CFP Board regulates Certified Financial Planners (r) professionals like myself.  They provide the Code of Ethics, which we are required to follow.  The latest version says:   1.  Act with honesty, integrity, competence, and diligence. 2.  Act in the client’s best interest. 3.  Exercise due care. 4.  Avoid or disclose and manage conflicts of … Continue reading Code of Ethics

Rare Agreement?


It is not everyday that both Republicans and Democrats will agree with Maxine Waters, the new fiery Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services.  Among other agencies, her committee is responsible for the Securities & Exchange Commission, which has furloughed a whooping 94% of its employees.  There are now less than 300 employees responsible … Continue reading Rare Agreement?

Flip A Coin ?


Do you remember the “great dress controversy” in 2015 when a dress appeared to be two different colors.  My wife and I sat next to each other and looked at the dress on TV.  We saw the same dress but each of us saw it in a different color.  I thought it was blue & … Continue reading Flip A Coin ?

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