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.

The “Social Contract”


One of my favorite philosophers has always been Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a leading Swiss philosopher who died in 1778.  (I actually visited his grave in Geneva in 1992.)  He is best known for the Social Contract, published in 1762, reasoning that people are little more than a product of their environment.  The notion is that kids … Continue reading The “Social Contract”

The Glory of NOT Working ?


Having spent many years in Texas, I am familiar with Juneteenth and the deep emotions it arouses.  Now, we have a national holiday to remember that day, when word of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Galveston, freeing the enslaved Americans.  Now, start remembering . . . !! First, there is a cost to national holidays.  Whatever … Continue reading The Glory of NOT Working ?



You know the world is upside-down when Fox News agrees with Bill Maher.  He is a longtime comedy star on HBO, better known for his blistering takedowns of conservatives.  This week, they applauded Maher’s rant that liberal Democrats and/or Progressives don’t know how to “high-five” and take a victory lap.  Maher called it “progressophobia”, which … Continue reading Progressophobia

A Perfect Storm ?


“Inflation Jumps to 13-year High” blared the front-page headline on The Wall Street Journal.  Although alarmist, it is something Wall Street is paying close attention to .  . . or is it? According the Monetarist school of economics, inflation results when you have too much money chasing too few goods.  Alternatively, goods available for sale will … Continue reading A Perfect Storm ?

Essential Boredom


During my school years, math and science were important to me.  I appreciated the clarity of thinking and crispness of conclusions.  It was science or “hard” power! English and government were also important to me.  I appreciated the wide, leisurely thinking, complete with fuzzy nuances.  It was art or “soft” power! However, Latin and French … Continue reading Essential Boredom

Memorial Day


Christmas is nice.  So is Hanukkah.  And Kwanza too!  My favorite of the religiously-inspired holidays has always been Easter, with its Spring-like weather, with its hope of renewal, and with its prayer of “rising from the dead.” Among the nationally-inspired holidays, like Thanksgiving, President’s Day, and other shopping days,  I feel more emotional about Memorial … Continue reading Memorial Day

Tulip-coins anybody ?


In the seventeenth century, the Dutch Republic was arguably the most prosperous nation in the world and certainly was the financial center of the world.   It even developed the first Futures Market, which gives investors the right to buy or sell a certain commodity, such as bushels of corn or wheat, at a certain price … Continue reading Tulip-coins anybody ?

The “I-Word”


We know the rules.  One, you must never say the “N-word.”  Likewise, you must never say the “F-word.”  Now, according to Barron’s magazine, it is impolite to use the “I-word” in polite company. Right now, the stock market is over-reacting to INFLATION . . . there, I said the I-word! Phase One of this over-reaction … Continue reading The “I-Word”

The Seduction of Simple Slogans


Because Afghanistan is “where empires go to to die”, most Americans are relieved that we are finally withdrawing . . . myself among them.  Twenty years is long enough.  The United States has many great strengths, but nation-building is not one of them.  Remember Somalia? In 2019, the average age in the U.S. was 38.4 … Continue reading The Seduction of Simple Slogans

Inflation Blues


There are disadvantages to remembering the 1970’s, which was a time of high inflation.  The disadvantage is that you see a return to high inflation behind every bush.  Currently, the stock market is over-reacting to the fear of higher inflation, which is tougher on lower-income people, not that the stock market cares about lower income … Continue reading Inflation Blues



While reading “the classics” is never a bad idea, most people read newer books.  However, a middle-age book can also give a refreshing perspective.  I just finished Lethal Passage:  The Story of a Gun, written by Erik Larson and published in 1995.  It was recommended to me by a good British friend who struggles to … Continue reading THE MORE THINGS CHANGE . . .

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