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.

Simple Money

By |September 19th, 2018|

Is our financial system too complex? Photo: Ben Thai. Source: Pixabay In banking, there are four or five ways to measure capital and over a dozen ways to classify assets. In insurance there’s a complex web of reserve calculations and investment silos. And everyone in finance is subject to an alphabet soup of regulators: the SEC, FDIC, OCC, FINRA, FinCen, CFPB, NAIC, NFA, CFTC, and [...]

The Wisdom of Diversification

By |September 18th, 2018|

Diversification works. Public Domain. Source: Wikimedia That’s the secret to the success of many major consumer products. Coca-Cola was created when someone accidentally added carbonation to medicinal syrup. Play-Doh was supposed to be a wallpaper cleaner. Toothpaste started as a homemade powder made from salt and burnt bread, but then someone noticed Parisian artists squeezing their pigments out of lead tubes, and so they put [...]

Flowing with Florence

By |September 13th, 2018|

Are we ready? Public Domain. Source: Pxhere Florence is bearing down. And folks are worried about the flooding and other damage that will come from the rain and storm surge. In the ‘80s, the average annual cost of natural disasters worldwide was $50 billion per year. Last year, Harvey alone cost over $30 billion. There’s no question that the cost of natural disasters is going [...]

Balancing the Books

By |September 12th, 2018|

Is inflation headed higher? Public Domain. Source: Pxhere One of the most challenging financial pressures on all of us is inflation. It’s hard enough to balance our household budgets without prices going up all the time. When I was growing up in the ‘70s, our family was roiled by rising prices for groceries, clothing, and just about everything else. It was hard for businesses to [...]

Healthy, Wealthy, Wise

By |September 11th, 2018|

What are you doing to stay healthy? Photo: JD Maidens. Source: US Air Force Our bodies and our finances are linked, and not just because of how much we spend on prescriptions. Health is integral to our lives, the same way money is. And studying finance is similar to studying medicine: there are technical issues that require specialized training, but most of the principles are [...]

Turing In

By |September 11th, 2018|

What is a Turing Test? Photo: Mike MacKenzie. Source: Flikr. CC-BY-2.0 A Turing Test is a way for people to examine how intelligent a machine seems to be. It evaluates the question, “Can machines think?” by redefining thinking. Instead, Turing asked if a computer could converse so naturally that speaking with the machine would be indistinguishable from conversing with a human. The classic Turing Test [...]

Of Nations and Nationalism

By |September 7th, 2018|

Can Europe hold itself together? Recent YouGov Poll. Source: YouGov. In 1848, revolution swept across Europe. Governments fell in Italy, France, Germany, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, and elsewhere. In all, over 50 countries were affected. The uprisings were led by shaky ad hoc coalitions of reformers, intellectuals, and workers, which weren’t competent at governing They were often violently put down, but the 1848 revolutions frightened the [...]

Reflections on Tolstoy

By |September 6th, 2018|

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Source: Pixabay. That’s how Leo Tolstoy begins his epic novel “Anna Karenina.” The line has been quoted over and over again, in movies and articles and other books. It even has its own Wikipedia entry: the Anna Karenina Principle. The idea is that to be happy, a family must be successful [...]

On the Job / Off the Job

By |September 5th, 2018|

What is the “gig economy”? Photo: Peter Griffin. Source: Publicdomainpictures.net A “gig” is the world sometimes used for temporary contract for a musician or other performer. I once heard a short-term Music Studies professor complain that he’d never find another gig as good as the one he had in Hanover. The gig economy refers to our economy today where more and more people are independent [...]