Home 2018-05-14T12:08:11+00:00

The Global Market Update is curated by Douglas Tengdin, CFA an employee of Charter Trust Company.
The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Charter Trust Company.
Investments may involve investment risk, including the possible loss of value.

Wealth Wanderings

By | June 18th, 2018|

Is the wealth effect real? Photo: hcmholms. Source: 500px It makes some sense. After all, wealthy people spend more than poor people. And they buy fancier clothes, fancier food, and fancier toys. So if the Fed wants to boost the economy – which is 70% consumer spending – why wouldn’t they try to lift asset prices and juice people’s wealth? But just what makes someone [...]

A Boring Project

By | June 15th, 2018|

Is Elon Musk boring? TBM that tunneled under Mont Blanc, from Switzerland to Italy. Photo: Cooper.ch. Source: Wikimedia That’s what I wondered when I read that the tech billionaire just won the bidding to build a high-speed link from downtown Chicago to O’Hare Airport. A year ago Musk announced that digging holes in the ground – using a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), the type of [...]

A Windy Future

By | June 14th, 2018|

Are big cities doomed? Chicago Skyline. Photo: J. Crocker. Source: Wikimedia The problems that many big cities face are well known: crumbling infrastructure, ossified politics, and economic decline. Without the economic growth to support public services, political factions end up squabbling over pieces of an ever-smaller pie. This matters for investors. Not only do they make direct investment decisions, like whether to purchase municipal bonds [...]

Leading by Investing

By | June 13th, 2018|

Can investors be leaders? Aeneas holding his father Anchises, by Simon Vouet (1635). Source: Wikimedia They should be. The same qualities found in the best leaders are crucial to the best investors: clear goals; a culture of integrity; understanding what they can and can’t do; and they have to be able to effectively communicate these values to those around them. Leadership has always been this [...]

Long Term Ownership?

By | June 12th, 2018|

What kind of bosses are Chinese owners? Photo: Photo Mix. Source: Pixabay 3,500 employees of Genworth Financial are about to find out. Genworth is the successor company to the old Life of Virginia, a Richmond-based life insurer founded in 1871. In the 1980s, they went through various business combinations, mergers, divestitures, and spin-offs. In 1996 they were bought by GE and sold back into the [...]

Fashions and Fads

By | June 11th, 2018|

Remember bell-bottom pants? Illustration: Clker-Free-Vector-Images. Source: Pixabay Bell-bottoms became fashionable in the ‘60s and ‘70s. They were featured in music lyrics, on TV shows, and in the movies. For a while, bell-bottoms were all the rage. Then they were replaced by skinny jeans, which gave way to the “grunge look,” which turned into hip-hop pants, which have been replaced now by athleisure wear. Today, you [...]

Finding Cod

By | June 8th, 2018|

Where have all the fish gone? Photo: Joachim Müllerchen. Source: Wikimedia It can be hard to find good fish today. Fresh-caught seafood used to be abundant and cheap at the market. Cod was a staple on New England tables. By some accounts, the rich cod fisheries in the Grand Banks and Georges Banks were the foundation for American prosperity in the 17th century. Captain John [...]

Going Deep

By | June 7th, 2018|

What is deep learning? Photo: Seeman. Source: Morguefile Deep learning is a machine-learning method that computers use to recognize complex patterns, like human speech and 3-D objects. It takes a signal – like a sentence – and processes it through multiple layers of calculations and algorithms to come to a conclusion. It’s a way for a computer to “learn” something without being explicitly programmed. Of [...]

Fear and Loathing in the Markets

By | June 6th, 2018|

Who’s afraid of the big, bad market? Doré illustration from Paradise Lost. Public Domain. Source: Wikipedia We fear losing a lot more than we value winning. That’s why money-back guarantees are so effective in getting us to try something new, even though it’s usually a real hassle getting our money back. We don’t want to get stuck with something we don’t want, and that guarantee [...]