The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Just Another Useful Tool – corrected

01/31/2020

For reasons best understood by your neighborhood nerd, yesterday’s blog dropped the most important paragraph!?!  With apologies, the corrected blog appears below: While I have been a long-time advocate for exchange-traded-funds (ETFs), I never thought they could bake bread nor cure the common cold.  Yesterday, I attended a lecture entitled “Combating Fake News:  Why Exchange-Traded-Funds … Continue reading Just Another Useful Tool – corrected

Just Another Useful Tool

01/31/2020

While I have been a long-time advocate for exchange-traded-funds (ETFs), I never thought they could bake bread nor cure the common cold.  Yesterday, I attended a lecture entitled “Combating Fake News:  Why Exchange-Traded-Funds Won’t Cause the Next Market Sell-off.”  I saw a great many graphs documenting that ETFs continue to grow during both bear and … Continue reading Just Another Useful Tool

What’s The Point?

01/30/2020

In 1988, I completed my financial planning studies and proudly earned a CFP certificate.  Over all those years, I have enjoyed the prestige of being certified, even as the costs increased, the red tape mounted and the continuing education droned on.  Last summer, I was asked by Old Dominion University to teach the capstone course … Continue reading What’s The Point?

Lukewarm IPOs is Good News

01/28/2020

I hate long-term bond funds.  I hate annuities.  And, I really hate IPOs (initial public offerings). IPOs happen when a private company wants to sell part of its ownership on a public stock exchange, like the NYSE.  (Of course, it begs the question of why would I want to sell part of my company when … Continue reading Lukewarm IPOs is Good News

A Plea for Healing

01/25/2020

Bernice King once said “In my view, it was no accident that Nelson Mandela was chosen by God to lead the people of South Africa. There are very few people who could be imprisoned, kept away from their family and loved ones, and exit that same prison with such a powerful spirit of love and … Continue reading A Plea for Healing

Praying for Inflation

01/23/2020

Imagine you make $100 thousand a year and then imagine carrying $322 thousand in debt.  You would probably be in trouble.  Fortunately, the interest rate on your debt is artificially low.  Now, think globally, where worldwide debt has reached $257 TRILLION, which is 322% of worldwide GDP. Some people see that as proof of profligate … Continue reading Praying for Inflation

The Wizard of Wharton

01/22/2020

One of my favorite analysts is the affable Dr. Jeremy Siegel of Wharton.  In his last commentary, he doesn’t foresee any recession but thinks the stock market has gotten ahead of itself.  It is just going up too fast, and “trees never reach the sky.”  He recalls January of 2018 when the same thing happened, … Continue reading The Wizard of Wharton

The Danger of A Clever Thought

01/18/2020

Logic is not always the same thing as truth.  Sometimes, logic is absurd. I have voted for numerous Libertarian candidates over the years.  Recently, I was talking with a long-time Libertarian friend.  He saw nothing wrong with arming school kids.  Anybody should be able to buy as many guns as they like and take them … Continue reading The Danger of A Clever Thought

Consistent With History?

01/13/2020

The Bank of America has an interesting forecast.  The current bull run in the stock market resulted from the relatively-sudden easing of geopolitical tensions, a decision on Brexit finally, and confidence in the November election, as well as highly supportive central banks (Fed & ECB).  The Bank believes these problems are not over, but merely … Continue reading Consistent With History?

Annual Perspective

01/12/2020

For faithful readers, my latest quarterly column for Inside Business can be found here: https://www.pilotonline.com/inside-business/vp-ib-expert-flinchum-0113-20200106-paeou5gjtbaivmhr6y5bpmatou-story.html

In Praise of Ho-Hum

01/10/2020

I enjoyed listening to pundits talking this morning about how boring the monthly “Jobs Report” was.  Compared to expectations of 160 thousand new jobs, only 145 thousand were created last month.  Big Deal!  The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5% — a 50 year low.  The U-6 level of under-employment dropped to 6.7% — a … Continue reading In Praise of Ho-Hum

Affable Predictions

01/09/2020

Bob Doll is the chief equity officer for investment giant Nuveen.  For an investment strategist, he is remarkably humble and affable.  Each year, he makes 10 predictions and has a good track record.  With my comments in parenthesis, here are his 2020 predictions: The world avoids recession in 2020 as U.S. GDP grows over 2% … Continue reading Affable Predictions

The Ultimate Weapon

01/05/2020

During my first year in the Army, I learned infantry tactics and saw the military world from a top-down perspective, as in brigade-battalion-company-platoon-squad.  However, on the very first day of Special Forces training, I was taught to take a bottom-up perspective and that the atomic bomb was NOT the ultimate weapon.   The ultimate weapon is … Continue reading The Ultimate Weapon

Budget InSECURE

01/03/2020

Wouldn’t it be great if you could buy a nice present for your friend and then send the bill to THEIR children?  Congress just did that and did it on a bipartisan basis! It has the pleasant name of Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act or SECURE.  It reduces the tax burden on … Continue reading Budget InSECURE

New Year’s Resolution

01/01/2020

When I was a boy, my mother would remind me to write down my New Year’s Resolution each year and tape it to my door.  Like most kids, my resolutions were usually (1) to do ALL my homework or (2) keep my room clean or (3) feed my dog – “Pal” – before leaving for … Continue reading New Year’s Resolution

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