No Pain, No Gain?

By |2018-10-22T07:34:23+00:00October 22nd, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have you ever gotten a “runner’s high”? Photo: AFC Clayton Lenhardt. Source: USAF I have. It’s that euphoric feeling we get when we “push through the pain” of long-term, rhythmic exercise, like jogging or rowing or swimming. It’s not running, specifically, that gives us those feelings of elation and relaxation. It’s the duration. Studies show that moderate, repetitive exercise that lasts 30 minutes or more has psychological as well as physical benefits. After exercising, people tend to be more relaxed and more upbeat throughout [...]

The Incredibly Shrinking Fed

By |2018-10-19T16:42:35+00:00October 19th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Do you remember getting your height checked? Photo: Sgt Alesia Gusic. Source: US Navy I do. And it was a shock to me, recently, when I realized that I was shorter than before. It shouldn’t be, though. As we get older, the discs in our spine dehydrate and compress. Our spines can also become more curved. Most people lose about a half inch every 10 years or so after they turn 40. Getting smaller isn’t something we usually celebrate, though. Everything we do is [...]

A Mature Harvest

By |2018-10-18T06:49:46+00:00October 18th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Why are recessions so hard to predict? Photo: Bruno Glätsch. Source: Pixabay We observe the weather, we feel the seasons. The grapes are swelling on the vine. We know when it’s time to pick apples and gather the harvest. When we walk outside, we know that winter is on its way. Why is it so difficult to see the seasons of economic growth, to know when an economic “hard frost” is coming? Seasons are regular, economies are irregular. The weather for certain days may [...]

All Systems Go

By |2018-10-17T06:20:08+00:00October 17th, 2018|Global Market Update|

What makes some companies take off while others struggle? Apollo 7 launch. Source: NASA There are lots of examples: Facebook created the dominant digital social network, while other platforms failed. Costco is a huge discount club while Wal-Mart has struggled. Johnson & Johnson has succeeded across a broad range of health-care businesses, while others have faltered, brought down by scandals or shrinking markets. What’s the difference? It comes down to leadership. Successful companies need vision: leaders who create a sense of community where their [...]

Confirmation Clouds

By |2018-10-17T05:38:31+00:00October 17th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Do you remember looking for shapes in the clouds? Photo: Eberhard Grossgasteiger. Source: Pexels As a kid, I found clouds endlessly fascinating. Their shapes and forms conjured up images of bears and dragons and all kinds of woodland creatures. My friends might see armies or sports stars. On a warm summer’s afternoon with light, puffy clouds, we could spend hours gazing up at the sky. Images in clouds can be inspiring. In Irving Stone’s “The Agony and the Ecstasy,” Michelangelo envisions God creating Adam [...]

Made to Order

By |2018-10-15T07:39:38+00:00October 15th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have you ever had clothes custom-tailored? Photo: Igor Ovsyannykov. Source: Fancycrave I remember buying my first tailored business suit. I was scared that I would just waste my money. The suits seemed out-of-reach, but I had scraped together my modest savings to have more than a basic “interview suit” – the suit I had purchased with my mom my senior year of college, that was now so easily rumpled that it made my co-workers think I had been sleeping in it. The salesman guided [...]

Home is Where the Data Is

By |2018-10-12T07:54:55+00:00October 12th, 2018|Global Market Update|

What’s the point of a smart home? Source: Pixabay Everyone wants to own a piece of our homes. Amazon puts ads for Alexa and Echo in front of me every time I sign in. Google wants me to say, “Ok, Google” whenever I open the door. Siri keeps forgetting how to spell my name. And Facebook just introduced its Portal, a video chat device that can track faces and stream Spotify playlists. All this sounds pretty creepy. Buy why? Why are these tech giants [...]

The Bill Comes Due?

By |2018-10-11T06:36:58+00:00October 11th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Are we drowning in debt? Source: NY Fed You might think so, to listen to the news. Student loans total over a trillion dollars. Mortgage debt is headed higher. Total household debt, which peaked at just over $12 trillion in 2007, now totals more than $13 trillion. We’ve never had so much debt in the economy, and most folks struggle to pay their bills at one time or another. But debt doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There are two sides to every balance sheet [...]

Shark Tank?

By |2018-10-10T06:58:17+00:00October 10th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have you ever seen a shark in the wild? Great White Shark off South Africa. Photo: Hermanus Backpacker Hostel. Source: Wikimedia I never have, and I hope that I never do. They’re scary enough at the aquarium! Their successive rows of teeth, all angling back, seem designed to rip and tear. These “predators of the sea” seem tailor-made for horror movies, like Jaws or Open Water. Predatory investors can be scary, too. On one hand, these investors are exercising their rights as company owners [...]

Finding Winners

By |2018-10-09T16:37:10+00:00October 9th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery? Imitation jewelry. Public Domain. Source: Pxhere In football many teams use the “West Coast Offense.” It’s a strategy devised by Bill Walsh in the 1990s while he was offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals and later the San Francisco 49ers. It makes use of frequent short, quick passing plays for short yardage to stretch out the defense. These have the effect of opening up the field for long bombs. This tactic has enjoyed some great success. Now [...]