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 Treatable Disease ??


Among my holiday reading was Lifespan:  Why We Age – and Why We Don’t Have To” by Dr. David Sinclair of Harvard.  He argues convincingly that “aging is a disease, and that disease is treatable.”  It is profound book, given to me by a good friend, and it is laced with one medical discovery after … Continue reading A Treatable Disease ??

Peeking Into 2020 ?


At year-end 2018, there was terrifying 17 percent drop in the stock market during the fourth quarter, then economic datapoints weakened during the first half of 2019.  To make things worse, the political atmosphere was terrible, with Brexit, Mueller/impeachment, Korea and a very real trade war.  A recession looked inevitable at that point.  An inverted … Continue reading Peeking Into 2020 ?

Believing in Something?


The Wall Street Journal runs a small cartoon in every issue, which are usually worth a chuckle or two.  One from late 2009 still hangs in my office.  It shows a sad, forlorn financial advisor looking out his window, saying “It’s hard enough accepting that I let my clients down.  It’s even worse knowing the … Continue reading Believing in Something?

Too Much Book Learning?


The “scientific method” is the process of making decisions by identifying each hypothesis and carefully testing it before determining if something is true.  Originally developed for use in science, it is taught extensively in business education as well.  It is a way-of-thinking that has worked well. One weakness of this technique is the strict delineation … Continue reading Too Much Book Learning?

R.I.P. “Tall Paul”


Another of my personal heroes has left us. Paul Volcker was a New Jersey boy with a tough mind.  Even without a Ph.D., he was appointed Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank by President Jimmy Carter and subsequently by President Ronald Reagan.  Do you remember the WIN buttons for “Whip Inflation Now” of President Gerald … Continue reading R.I.P. “Tall Paul”

Nice Thought ?


Genworth is a huge insurance company in Richmond that has long been a leader in long-term-care (LTC) insurance.  It is to their benefit to over-estimate the monthly expense of long term care, so they can scare more people into buying LTC policies.  With that caveat, they have recently estimated the monthly cost of care in … Continue reading Nice Thought ?

Too Beat-Up To Matter ??


Last week, the biggest surprise was the November “jobs report” that 266 thousand jobs were created in November — way more than the 187 thousand new jobs that analysts expected.  Plus, we learned more jobs were created the two previous months than reported earlier.  The three-month rolling average is a whopping 244 thousand – very … Continue reading Too Beat-Up To Matter ??

Lonely Survivor


Marion Weinzweig was an 18-month-old girl in Poland when World War II began.  To survive, her Jewish parents sent her to live with Catholic friends, but the Nazis soon learned there was a little Jewish girl in that home.  So, that little girl was shipped off to a Catholic convent, to live and learn as … Continue reading Lonely Survivor

Anger in the Hills


I have long argued that globalization has tremendous benefits, although there are costs to be paid, such as retraining and relocation.  Years ago, Congress grabbed the benefits and wouldn’t pay the cost.  Instead, that price was paid by the people of lower-middle class America.  The most important book for the last ten years was Hillbilly … Continue reading Anger in the Hills

Stating the Obvious?


A common scenario is that money flows out of a falling stock market into the bond market, which drives up the price of bonds and therefore lowers interest rates.  Of course, lower interest rates usually strengthen the economy, which is good for stocks and causes money to flow back into the stock market. Faithful readers … Continue reading Stating the Obvious?

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