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Elect Wisdom

  We know…just know…that there are at least two things on your mind; What’s going to happen in this very interesting Presidential Election? Which way is the stock market going next? To be clear, if you KNEW either one of those things, you’d be in a class all by yourself.  To be further clear, if you bet on either one as happening, you may win but it would be pure speculation.  Wisdom, by definition, is not speculation.  Thus, let…

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Trade Matters

At a time when politician’s talk freely (not well, of course, but freely) and many ideas and ideologies are bantered about, let us try to provide some clarity on two important topics on the current pulpit pitches; Trade Central Bank and Monetary Policies (and effective limits therefore) The above subjects may seem boring or stuffy but let us assure you they can be understood and they need to be understood. All politicians and presidential candidates espouse taking care of…

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Interconnectedness

  In January 2016, we experienced the worst 10 day start of the stock market since 1897.  I’m an economics history guy and that’s saying something.  If not for the 396 point comeback on the last day of the month, the Dow decline of 5.5% would have looked a lot worse. In the  November 2015 newsletter  we talked about the formation and the independence of the US stock market.  In this letter, I want to talk about the interdependence…

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Patience Not Patients

The reality is this; When our Creator was giving out gifts and talents, h/she provided us many, but patience was most assuredly not one of them. Thus let us begin this letter with my exhortation to you to learn a hard lesson from us; Patience in financial markets is what will keep you from being a wounded patient due to them. You invest to make money; that’s one of our primary jobs for you.  So that we don’t conveniently…

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Worldly Matters

  ‘World politics matter’ a statement to which you naturally respond “No (kidding), Sherlock”.  This monthly communication is to state that world financial systems also matter, and to give you semblance of how lucky the United States is in that regard.  However, there are a few things we need to keep on the back of our minds and hopefully on the forefront of Washington policy. Low interest rates exist in many places around the world.  They exist here as…

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Living and Learning

  This will cover three events, all very different in their base topic but collectively germane as to how financial markets work. First, unless you are Rip Van Winkle, you will recall the great turmoil expressed by economists over the pending damage the Central Bank would unleash on the markets if interest rates were raised in their September FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting.   Such an increase, it was argued, was ‘too soon’, and ability of companies to pay…

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Looking Fear in the Face

  “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve….” We normally write this letter toward the beginning of the month, but given the large volatility in the markets of late, we thought it potentially beneficial to move it forward a week or so.  As the opening line indicates, directly and indirectly, there will be two groups of people that will appear in the next days; Those who view the markets as totally…

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Controlled Illusion

  When in the annals of finance we see people trying to usurp historically held ‘facts’, we should pay attention to see if something has indeed changed.  New knowledge is almost always good, though blindly seeking it without logical thought commonly leads to the misleading sentiment of investors (whose quote is attributed to the paragon of finance, Sir John Templeton, who said); “The four most expensive words in the English language are ‘this time it’s different”. Alas, far more…

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Best and Worst

The primary message this month; Some things go well, and some go poorly.   Sure, big deal, that’s life you say.  However, and VERY IMPORTANT, before you can intelligently judge if something is going well or poorly you have to take the emotion out of a subject and deal with the truth.  You must have an objective benchmark.  These days we’re finding that the truth is being conveniently interpreted in too many corners of the world, and that makes subjective…

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No Free Lunch

  You know the old adage; “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”?  Well, it is true in the world of economics as much as in any other context, and commonly the quote is attributed to the great economist Milton Friedman.  We’re going to talk a little bit about that quip this month so you have some perspective and appreciation for how it plays out in your investments. The alluring ‘lunch’ in regards to investments can be…

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