The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
Subscribe to the Flinchum File
View Archives

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.

John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006)

I don’t recall anybody ever accusing him of being a modest person, but he was indeed brilliant.  More sociologist than economist, he wrote “The Affluent Society” among his many books and popularized the discussion of conventional versus unconventional wisdom.  The dictionary defines conventional wisdom as “the generally accepted belief, opinion, judgment, or prediction about a particular matter.”  Unconventional is obviously not mainstream. When I was…

A Turkey For Thanksgiving . . . ?

Longtime economic truism — money goes where it is most appreciated!  In other words, why would I buy a certificate of deposit from a bank with a lower interest rate, when I could get a higher rate at a different bank.  Funds would flow out of the bank with the lower rate and into the bank with the higher rate.  Money goes where it is…

Just Do It !!

It is the duty of financial planners to initiate uncomfortable conversations with their clients.  One of the most difficult is end-of-life planning.  Unless you plan to live forever, it is too important to procrastinate. Let’s make it easier!  First, sit down at your computer.  Second, ask yourself who should make healthcare decisions for you, if you’re unable to do it for yourself.  Now, type that! …

Ancient Writing

As a lifelong gun-lover and owner of many guns, I am appreciative of the Second Amendment, even though it was so poorly-written and has been so badly interpreted by the courts.  The Second Amendment is not in the Bible, nor the Torah, nor the Quran.  Yes, it is important, but it is not sacred.  It was written by mere mortal humans –. centuries ago —…

Thank You, Senator Roth

To my Democratic friends who think Republicans are bad, I offer the example of Senator William Roth of Delaware.  In addition to voting for the Brady bill and for banning semi-automatic weapons, he was also responsible for Roth IRAs, an often overlooked retirement vehicle since 1998. With a traditional IRA, you get an income tax deduction for putting money aside and watching it grow tax-deferred. …

Easy Choice ?

If China has a population of 1.4 billion and the U.S. has 333 million, that means China has about 4.2 citizens for every American. So far, the U.S. has lost about 760 thousand people to Covid.  China admits to less than six thousand dead from Covid.  Outsiders put the Chinese dead at about 125 thousand, which would mean we lost six times as many people…

Expectations

Veterans of President Gerald Ford’s “Whip-Inflation-Now” campaign in 1978 tend to see inflation hiding behind every tree.  Wednesday’s CPI report of 6.2% price increases over the past twelve months vindicated their suspicion.  After all, it is the highest inflation rate in 30 years.  While that concerns me, it does not worry me. If you believe in monetary economics, where increasing money supply causes prices to…

I disagree . . . therefore, I am !

According to Wikipedia, an iconoclast is “one who attacks cherished beliefs.” Aaron Rogers is one of the all-time great football quarterbacks.  He describes himself as a critical thinker.  I would describe him as a mere iconoclast. If I spent the rest of my life studying football 24/7, I would not know 1% of what he knows about football.  However, I doubt if he knows much…

Too Exhausted To See ?

Just because there is always something to be worried about . . . that doesn’t mean you should always be worried. A recent CNN survey reported that 60% of Americans think the economy is doing poorly.  Let’s see?  The latest ISM-Services data is the best since 1997, catching up with ISM-Manufacturing which boomed after the Lockdown ended.  GDP growth was a very robust 6% in…