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.

An Act of Love


It takes a certain emotional maturity to talk about one’s own death.  Part of my job as a financial advisor is to help clients reach that level of maturity or self-awareness.  Too often, “estate planning” ends with signing a bunch a documents.  That’s the easy part!  We also need to do “end-of-life planning”.  For years, … Continue reading An Act of Love

Not Good Enough


Sometimes, good news is not good enough!  That was the case with yesterday’s release of second quarter GDP growth, which was a whopping 6.5%.  That’s the highest in 35 years. The good news is that it improved from a very robust 6.3% during the first quarter.  Despite a 3.4% drop in GDP last year, we … Continue reading Not Good Enough

China is right!


Some years ago, I had the opportunity to tour China.  In Beijing, our hotel was close to the national headquarters of the Communist Party.  A short walk later, I stood mesmerized in front of their massive building.  While I confess to being 100% biased against the Chinese Communists, their headquarters building made my skin crawl.  … Continue reading China is right!

“Good Vibrations”


I love my wife, but she is a little weird.  She is fascinated with air vibrations.  She even has a word for it.  She calls it M-U-S-I-C.  Scientists call it mere air vibrations hitting your eardrum.  Of course, she says that’s the reason God made ears, so we could appreciate M-U-S-I-C? Recently, I attended a … Continue reading “Good Vibrations”

The Curse of Innovation?


I know very little about Catholicism but was anxious to read the article in last weekend’s “Wall Street Journal” entitled “Is Pope Francis Leading the Church To a Schism?” The word – schism – has great significance to that faith, as it recalls the division and the separateness created by Martin Luther in 1517.  Catholics … Continue reading The Curse of Innovation?

Sanguine About Inflation ?


Wartime veterans often have a certain understandable, justifiable smugness.  Veterans of the war on inflation during the 1970’s are no different.  They tend to think the current inflation is as explosive and pernicious as it was back then.   Fed Chair Jerome Powell doesn’t think so, and neither do I. Powell agrees with monetary economists that … Continue reading Sanguine About Inflation ?

Herding Cats


How can American companies have nine million job openings, when nine million workers need a job?  My Republican friends tell me that Americans are just lazy and won’t work when unemployment payments are generous.  Certainly, there are lazy workers who milk the system, but how many?  A recent survey suggests 26% of workers would return … Continue reading Herding Cats

Not In Vain . . .


One of the most sacred responsibilities of combat soldiers is to NEVER leave a buddy behind.  There is a certain comfort in knowing that your corpse will be returned to America, helping your loved ones to grieve. Of course, the mission always comes first.  As long as the mission is not compromised, do whatever you … Continue reading Not In Vain . . .

Q3 Column


For those readers who prefer a fuller description of the economy, they can find my quarterly column for “Inside Business” at: A time to dance? A look at the economy | Expert column – Inside Business (

That Old-Time Religion


In 1986, three investment analysts named Gary Brinson, Randolph Hood, and Gilbert Beebower (BHB) published their landmark “Determinants of Investment Performance.”  It argued that 93.6% of differences in  the investment performance of various portfolios was due to asset allocation, i.e., the ratio of the portfolio allocated between stocks and bonds.  With 93.6% of the differences … Continue reading That Old-Time Religion

The Death of Political Parties?


When taking Political Science 101 in college during the last century, I learned the two primary political parties housed four types of politicians.  There were conservative Republicans and liberal Republicans.  Likewise, there were conservative Democrats and liberal Democrats.  The beauty of such an arrangement was that most everything was bipartisan.  Conservative Republicans could team up … Continue reading The Death of Political Parties?

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