Germany Uber Alles?

By |2017-07-17T12:23:01+00:00March 16th, 2015|Global Market Update|

The German stock market is making new highs. But what is Germany, really? Source: National Geographic For many people, Germany calls up images of the Bavarian castles or the Rhine. For others it’s Oktoberfest and lederhosen, or the Autobahn, or cathedrals. Still others get their images from old war movies. […]

Chinese Fortunes

By |2017-07-17T12:23:01+00:00March 13th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Where is China headed? Source: Wikipedia The Chinese economy is the second largest in the world, about half that of the US. It is the world’s largest importer and exporter of goods and services. Indeed, exports constitute over a quarter of their economy. By contrast, exports are only an eighth of ours. Clearly, China is a major factor in the global economic picture. […]

Robot Dreams

By |2017-07-17T12:23:01+00:00March 12th, 2015|Global Market Update|

What is a robo-advisor? Source: Wikipedia Robo-advisors are web-based financial applications that offer to make investing easy, inexpensive, and even fun. They start with an online questionnaire, apply one of several asset-allocation models, and offer index-based buy-and-hold portfolios using low-cost Exchange Traded Funds. They also rebalance the portfolio periodically, and can sometimes do tax-loss harvesting. Their fees are low, and they’re fully transparent. What’s not to like? […]

The Upside of Quitting

By |2017-07-17T12:23:01+00:00March 11th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Is quitting good for the economy? Source: Peter Cook Last month’s employment report was strong. But the number of new jobs in the economy is just one part of the picture. The Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey—JOLTs—digs deeper. It measures the total level of hiring and firing—how much churn there is in the labor market. Fed Chair Janet Yellen is especially interested in the quit rate—how many people voluntarily leave their jobs. After all, quitting is a choice. People only quit [...]

Musical Chairs?

By |2017-07-17T12:23:01+00:00March 10th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Where you stand depends on where you sit. Source: Interior Designing Blog That’s what a lot of companies are finding. In order to increase collaboration and innovation, some firms are moving employees around every few months. The idea is that by seeing and hearing what different colleagues do, workers can get new insight into how to do their jobs differently. […]

Growth in the Spring

By |2017-07-17T12:23:01+00:00March 9th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Maybe this time? Source: Western Gardeners In the cult classic “Being There,” Peter Sellers plays Chauncey Gardiner, a simple-minded gardener who lives with a wealthy benefactor. When his patron dies, Chauncey is turned out into the streets. Through a series of random encounters, he ends up advising the US President on economic affairs, at one point saying, “There will be growth in the spring”—an allusion to a garden’s growth, but something others over-interpret to mean that their economy would soon improve. […]

Mountain Goat Investing

By |2017-07-17T12:23:02+00:00March 5th, 2015|Global Market Update|

What’s your investment approach? Photo Credit: Brad Pelz My daughter climbed a mountain in Colorado last month. As she and her friends neared the summit, a mountain goat followed them. It hung around while they had lunch, and presumably had a nice little meal of its own on leftover crumbs and morsels when they left. […]

Thinking About Investing (Part 3)

By |2017-07-17T12:23:02+00:00March 4th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Why do our brains make it so hard to make money? Source: Magdalenesmuse Thinking is hard work. Concentrating hard on a task drains sugar from key parts of the brain. So we use shortcuts to help us make decisions. We draw pictures; we remember past experiences; we tell ourselves stories to explain the data. […]

Thinking About Investing (Part 2)

By |2017-07-17T12:23:02+00:00March 3rd, 2015|Global Market Update|

How can we be more intelligent investors? Rodin, The Thinker. Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art Investing is a mental exercise. Form a financial plan, then implement it, then review it. These are all conceptual activities—physical prowess is not required. But investing isn’t like studying philosophy or engineering. It engages our emotions. And our emotions habitually make us act less intelligently. […]