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.


On October 19, 1987, my boss was winging across the Atlantic on the company plane to honeymoon with his new wife.  Telecommunications in 1987 were relatively primitive by today’s standards, so he was relatively late receiving the news that the Dow just dropped a terrifying 22.6%, almost entirely in the last two hours of trading.  … Continue reading

The Long Arc ?


If World War II made the Greatest Generation see life in more absolute terms of black or white, good or evil . . . If Vietnam made the Baby Boomers more distrustful of both leaders and institutions . . . If the 9-11 attack on America made Gen-Xer’s more patriotic . . . If the … Continue reading The Long Arc ?

Quarantine Chore #1


For those working from home and finding a little less work to do, this is the first in a series about using that gift of time. The most common misconception in financial planning is that the title of something doesn’t matter.  WRONG!  It is very important.  Most people think “Oh, I’ve got a Will that … Continue reading Quarantine Chore #1

Leadership ?


When the Titanic hit the iceberg, the captain didn’t say “I don’t take responsibility at all.”  No, he manned-up and went down with the ship.  He didn’t blame his crew or his predecessor.  He was a real man and . . . a real leader. Typically, that was the actual quote from our current President, … Continue reading Leadership ?

. . . for a while . . .


While studying at three different universities, I enjoyed many courses in finance and economics.  But, I only had one course in biology and none in epidemiology, which is actually the most important – for a while. Sometimes, the rules of investing get suspended – for a while.  For example, diversification is a good thing.  That … Continue reading . . . for a while . . .

The “Q” Word


There is a quarantine in your future.  Staying inside your own home is not the worst thing that can happen, assuming you actually like the other people in your household.  In addition to stocking the pantry for a minimum of 14 days, just plan for a “staycation.”  Make sure you have that book you’ve been … Continue reading The “Q” Word

V or U or L ?


It was less than ten years ago, May 6th, 2010 at 2:36 PM, that the stock market quickly dropped a thousand points.  Thirty-six minutes later, the market had regained the thousand points.  This became known as the “Flash Crash.”  Because the bottom resembled the letter “V”, analysts still speculate whether downturns will be V-shaped, U-shaped, … Continue reading V or U or L ?

Kudos 4 Jim ?


It was 12 months ago that I predicted a recession this year.  Brownie points for me!  But, I expected it might be caused by a financial crisis, instead of a biological crisis.  No brownie points for me!  If I had thought about the problem of Russia’s struggle to dominate OPEC, this current oil crisis would … Continue reading Kudos 4 Jim ?

Good = Bad ?


For most families, the monthly mortgage payment is their biggest expense, which is largely determined by the interest rate.  The lower the rate, the more affordable the mortgage.  Over the last year, millions of Americans have refinanced their mortgages at lower interest rates, improving their monthly cash flow.  That’s great, isn’t it?? Investors know the … Continue reading Good = Bad ?

The 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 Punch


A month ago, the sky was blue, birds were singing, and the stock market was at a record high.  Then, things started to change.  First, there was rumbling about some virus outbreak in China, but President Xi assured us they had it well contained.  Move along, he said, nothing to see here. Second, Wall Street … Continue reading The 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 Punch

Pandemics Matter


The first outbreak of bubonic plague was in the 6th century and killed 25-50 million people, estimated at half of the world’s population. The next outbreak of bubonic plague was called “The Black Death” in 1347 and killed another 25 million people.  It took 200 years for the world’s population to regain that population level. … Continue reading Pandemics Matter

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