Too Much, Too Many

By |2017-07-17T12:22:24+00:00October 16th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Do we have too many choices? Photo: Aimee Low. Source: Morguefile When we face a shelf with dozens of varieties of meat, it’s hard to decide what to buy. It’s much easier when just need to choose from a few. Academics call this “choice overload.” Walk into a drug store and look at the selection of shampoo: it’s overwhelming. Choice overload can hit kids when they’re deciding which college to attend or what to major in. And it applies to investing. When company 401(k) [...]

The “Easy” New New Thing

By |2017-07-17T12:22:24+00:00October 15th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Why is innovation so hard? Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson ©. Source: Gocomics Anyone who has tried to introduce a genuinely new idea knows how difficult it is. As recently as 1995 Newsweek printed an article that predicted internet-based commerce would be impractical. Why would anyone want to buy stuff over the web? People crave human interaction, and the internet can’t do that. Another famous examples of such skepticism was when the President of Western Union dismissed Alexander Graham Bell’s newfangled telephone as “practically [...]

Falling Up?

By |2017-07-17T12:22:24+00:00October 14th, 2015|Global Market Update|

What’s a “Bloomberg”? Source: Wikipedia Most people have never seen one. They may have heard about Bloomberg News, or read about Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York. But there aren’t many computing platforms launched in the early ‘80s that are still around. There’s the Windows PC, which comes from the IBM PC, introduced in 1981. There’s Apple’s Mac—famously announced in 1984. And there’s the Bloomberg Terminal, which came out in late 1982. In 1981 Michael Bloomberg was forced out of equity trading [...]

Popularity Contest

By |2017-07-17T12:22:25+00:00October 13th, 2015|Global Market Update|

What makes a stock popular? Source: Wholeheartedleaders Do you remember the popular kids in high school? They seemed to have it all: good looks, good athletics, fashionable clothes. But have you ever followed up with your classmates to see how things have turned out? More often you think, folks that seem to have everything going for them don’t. They develop substance-abuse issues, or they can’t hold a job, or they wind up in broken relationships and find it difficult to make commitments. It’s the [...]

Time Management?

By |2017-07-17T12:22:25+00:00October 9th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Time Management? Time is our most precious resource. Source: Pixabay We can’t make more of it, it’s difficult to manage, and everyone wants some of yours. We can try to stretch time, to enjoy an event or experience for longer, but the clock ticks relentlessly forward: time waits for no one. When we’re investing, the length of time an investment can be held is the single most important factor to consider. Given enough time, risky investments become safe, and safe investments become risky. Over [...]

Not Free Parking

By |2017-07-17T12:22:25+00:00October 8th, 2015|Global Market Update|

How much should parking cost? Source: Wikia A recent story in the New York Times describes a 10-unit luxury condo building in New York’s Soho district. Parking is so scarce that the developer is asking $1 million for a single parking spot. The living units upstairs will cost between $8 and $13 million, so the buyers can probably afford the additional expense. But $1 million seems outrageous. At that price, the parking spot costs over twice what the living space goes for, on a [...]

Pacific Trade on Parade

By |2017-07-17T12:22:25+00:00October 7th, 2015|Global Market Update|

What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Photo: Seeman. Source: Morguefile The TPP is a trade agreement between 12 Pacific rim countries that seeks to lower tariffs, protect intellectual property, and provide a common framework for trade disputes. It potentially includes the US, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, and eight other nations, but it does not include China. Initially, the agreement was sold to US lawmakers as a way to “check the rise of China,” which seems foolish. We ought to celebrate the peaceful rise of a developing [...]

Peak Performance

By |2017-07-17T12:22:25+00:00October 6th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Peak Performance Why do we choke? Photo: Dodgerton Skillhouse. Source: Morguefile It’s the what every performer dreads. Nothing seems to go right. Your feet feel like lead. Your hands won’t do what you tell them to. You try to focus, but stray thoughts keep breaking in. What’s going on? Any time we learn a new skill—whether it’s how to play a musical instrument or how to golf or how to drive a car—our minds have to focus intently on coordinating muscles, hand and finger [...]

Declaración de Indendpence?

By |2017-07-17T12:22:25+00:00October 5th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Declaración de Indendpence? What’s happening in Spain? Photo: Nicoo. Source: Morguefile Last week Catalonia voted to secede from Spain. Catalonia is one of Spain’s most economically dynamic regions, with a population of over 7 million—16% of Spain’s 45 million people. It’s in the far north east, with Barcelona as its capital—the site of the 1992 Summer Olympics. Although they are an integral part of Spain now, there have been independence movements in Catalonia since the 17th century. They have their own language, culture, and [...]

Wheel of Fortune?

By |2017-07-17T12:22:25+00:00October 2nd, 2015|Global Market Update|

Where are you on the wheel of fortune? Wheel of Fortune. Source: Wikipedia When I was growing up one of the most popular TV game-shows was “Wheel of Fortune.” Contestants would solve a word puzzle similar to “hangman” and spin a giant carnival wheel to win cash and prizes. The show has run for over 30 years. It’s appeal is that it encourages viewers to play along--to try and guess the mystery phrase before the contestants. But before there was a TV show, there [...]