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 Pox On R’s and D’s

I have voted for Republicans, and I have voted for Democrats, but I’ve never been as disgusted with both as I am right now. Imagine you’re attending the wake or memorial ceremony for your spouse.  As you’re sitting there, with your head bowed, when someone barges into the sanctuary and screams “it is all your fault”!  Seconds later, someone else barges in, screaming “the doctor…

What, Me Worry ?

We’re living during interesting times.  We just learned that GDP growth during the second quarter was a sizzling 6.6% — even better than expected.  Corporate profits surged 9.2% — also much better than expected.  It’s not surprising that the stock markets keep setting new record highs.  What, me worry? The Grim Reaper called Covid still hangs over our economy, of course, but we proved our…

Socratic Conversation?

If the first casualty of military warfare is the truth, then the first casualty of partisan warfare is academic debate. Maybe, the Socratic approach won’t offend. . . ? Assuming Ronald Reagan was correct that America is that shiny city on the hill, does that mean non-Americans will want to be there ? If continued in-migration can be expected, can we channel Nancy Reagan and…

What’s the Point ??

Let’s say you have two neighbors.  Neighbor #1 picks up a baseball bat and hits neighbor #2, before handing the bat to the neighbor he just hit.  Neighbor #2 takes the bat and hits neighbor #1, before handing the bat back to neighbor #1.  As they continue to hit each other, do you think they are just plain stupid? The Federal debt ceiling is equally…

Old Theories Never Die . . .

Famed World War II General Douglas MacArthur said “Old soldiers never die.  They just fade away.”  The same can be said about old theories. In 1986, three professors named Brinson, Hood, & Beebower (BHB) published a research paper entitled “Determinants of Portfolio Performance.”  They showed 93.6% of a portfolio’s performance was determined by the asset allocation.  (A similar 1991 study showed a 91.5% correlation.)  Asset…

That Final Walk

One of my long-running complaints with the financial planning profession is that it has become too academic.  If planners spent less time memorizing IRS Code sections and more time looking into the eyes of their clients, it would be a better world. Estate planning is the most stark example – full of tax and probate advice but void of the world’s most universal emotion.  There…

Strengthening Economy = Strong Jobs Report

The most closely watched economic report each month is the “Jobs Report” on the first Friday.  Today’s report was surprisingly strong, with 943 thousand new jobs created last month, a hundred thousand more than expected.  Plus, we learned that the number of jobs created in May and June were even more than we realized.  The unemployment rate dropped to 5.4%, a post-pandemic low, pushing average…

Just Economics?

 My Republican-friends like to blame everything on the mainstream media.  My Democratic friends like to blame everything on greedy, rich “fat-cats”.  They’re both wrong! My Republican-friends see the immigration problem as a bunch of lazy, disease-ridden derelicts trying to milk American generosity.  My Democratic friends see the immigration problem as a bunch of poor, miserable, uneducated human beings in search of a better life.  They’re…