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.

Sailor’s Advice

Growing up in a beach community, I could predict the weather by remembering: “Red sky in morning, sailor take warning.  Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.” Growing up in the economics community, I could predict the economy by remembering: “A steepening yield curve is bullish.  A flattening yield curve is bearish.” The yield curve is the difference between short-term interest rates and long-term interest rates. …

Today’s Wall-of-Worry . . .

Wall Street likes to say they move from one Wall-of-Worry to the next Wall-of-Worry.  The current Wall is inflation.  Why should inflation be worrisome?  In the short run, inflation is good for stocks, as earnings increase and debt becomes easier to repay.  In the long run, however, the Fed will be forced to raise interest rates enough to reduce inflation.  This often triggers a recession,…

Just Deal With It !!

Financial planners are trained to help their clients in retirement planning, tax planning, education planning, and estate planning, but it is not enough to simply teach clients.  Sometimes, a planner should push a client to make a decision.  Funeral planning is a prime example.  It is hard enough to get a client to visit an estate planning attorney, but it is a real struggle to get…

The Cancel Culture

Conservative media, like Fox, NewsMax, and OAN, were the among the first to identify the problem of the Cancel Culture.  Apparently, it grew out of college campuses where conservative speakers had been invited to campus.  Then, social media on campus became offended and angry, demanding the invitation be cancelled.  To the students, they viewed such conservative perspectives as insultingly stupid.  To conservatives, they saw it…

Wasting Time ?

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is not my favorite former vice president, as I think he was a bad influence on a good man. Likewise, Congresswoman Liz Cheney is not my favorite congresswoman, as I think she is unfairly harsh on environmentalists. However, French philosopher Francois-Marie Voltaire (1694-1778) is one of my favorite philosophers. He is often credited with saying “I disapprove of what you…

Surveillance Industry

For many years, I have railed against Big Tech companies, like Google and Facebook, who spy on their customers, gathering ever-increasing amounts of data, and selling that data to whomever will pay the tech company for that data. Until now, we have lacked a name for this business model.  Thanks to Harvard Business School professor, Dr. Shoshana Zuboff, the handy label has become Surveillance Capitalism. …

Covid and the Labor Force

The “jobs report” issued by the Bureau of Labor Standards has always been the most watched economic report each month and has often moved the stock market, sometimes violently.  Naturally, I have monitored it closely for decades now, during both booms and busts.  However, Covid-19 has shattered both the labor force and the study of labor economics.  I have never seen the labor force so…

Putin’s Greatest Fear

Long-time readers know of my undying respect for the late Senator John McCain.  He was a genuine hero, who spent 5 1/2 years as a prisoner-of-war.  I saluted him! Today, my respect is rapidly increasing . . . for a Russian, of all people . . . Alexei Navalny.  He is the charismatic 44-year-old opposition leader in Russia, who is described as “the man that…