The Safe Alternative?

By |2018-11-19T07:23:57+00:00November 19th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Do you want the right approach, or the safe approach? Plane on approach to Heathrow Airport. Photo: Adrian Pingstone. Source: Wikimedia Everyone wants to be safe. Cars are getting safer all the time. Now they have staged airbag inflation, side airbags, blind-spot sensors, adaptive cruise, and so on. Highway fatalities are almost half of what they were 40 years ago, despite the fact that we drive more than twice as much. Food processors track and recall any food that’s been tainted. And it’s almost [...]

Log-pile Games

By |2018-11-18T20:11:10+00:00November 18th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Sometimes things are more than they seem. Photo: Anonymous. Source: Bigfoto We cleared some land a few years ago. The forester did his cutting in the fall, skidding and stacking the logs up in the cleared area. The truck to take them to the mill didn’t arrive until several months later, though, waiting for the ground to freeze. In the interim, we had quite a recreational area – a perfect adventure-land for our young boys. We made sure that we were nearby and they [...]

Waiting for … What?

By |2018-11-15T07:07:40+00:00November 15th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Do you remember waiting for the bus? Photo: Jack Delano, 1941. Source: Library of Congress As a schoolboy, I remember standing around for what seemed like hours in the early-morning darkness. I’d peer anxiously down the road, hoping to see that big, lumbering orange shape. Eventually, it would show up and I would climb gratefully in, letting the steamy warmth seep back into my body. It was cold waiting for the bus on those early Minnesota mornings! Today we find ourselves waiting for the [...]

Recounting Accounting

By |2018-11-14T06:11:02+00:00November 14th, 2018|Global Market Update|

What’s wrong with accounting? Public Domain. Source: Life of Pix I remember the first time I encountered a detailed balance sheet. I’d been hired to implement a new analytical system at a small bank, and I was looking at their internal accounts. “Oh, don’t look at that month,” I was told. Why? That month was a little special. The State where they were located gave the bank a special tax credit for holding US Treasury Notes on that month-end, and this small bank had [...]

On the Water

By |2018-11-13T07:41:29+00:00November 13th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have you ever been on a canoe trip? Photo: Olivier Labbe. Source: Pixabay The experience is singular. Each day is unique, but along the way they merge into one another. You lose our modern sense of time and develop a daily rhythm: dawn, morning fog, daylight, evening. Sometimes the scenery opens up, and you get views of the hills and landmarks around, but more often your vision is confined by the banks and the shore. You get to know your paddling partner’s habits and [...]

Fresh Faces

By |2018-11-12T11:50:32+00:00November 12th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Do you need a puppy? Photo: Chevanon Photo. Source: Pexels We have an older dog. Not that old, mind you. But getting there. She doesn’t have the same level of energy she used to. She sleeps more. When I get up early in the morning, she used to come over and lick my hand and ask for a treat. Now she ambles off down the hall to find a dark bedroom where she can get a little more shuteye. The kids have been on [...]

Rooting for the Home Team

By |2018-11-09T07:55:51+00:00November 9th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Are sports really “only a game”? Photo: Reid Neureiter. Source: Flikr. CC-BY-2.0 Watching my kids compete in youth athletics has been one of the most enjoyable parts of being a dad. Now, I’m not a crazy sports parent yelling from the sidelines who thinks his little one has the stuff to make in the big leagues. Been there, done that, saw the movie, hated the ending. No, I’m talking about teaching my children how to kick a soccer ball, playing a game on a [...]

Raking Up

By |2018-11-08T07:00:42+00:00November 8th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have we gotten ready for winter, yet? Photo: Wendy. Source: Flikr. CC-BY-2.0 One of my least favorite jobs every year is raking leaves. It’s cold, lonely work. If I use gloves, I have a hard time picking debris out of the tines of the rake when they get stuck – which they always do around the garden and shrubbery beds, getting caught with the old plants and weeds. I used to be annoyed at my swollen hands, afterward. Now I wonder if the raking [...]

Cooking the Books?

By |2018-11-07T06:18:32+00:00November 7th, 2018|Global Market Update|

What good is financial reporting? Photo: Chantal Pare. Source: Flikr. CC-BY-2.0. That may be a funny question from a Chartered Financial Analyst, but financial statements often distort, rather than reveal, the nature of a company. Beyond outright fraud, where managers just make things up, there are lots of examples of accounting practices that are misleading, like marking everything to market. During the financial crisis, when companies got into trouble their debt was downgraded. Ironically, this created an earnings boost, because their debt suddenly got [...]

Going the Distance

By |2018-11-06T06:01:38+00:00November 6th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have you ever watched a marathon? Start of New York City Marathon. Photo: Eric Martin. Source: Wikimedia.. I remember the first time I saw the New York City Marathon. Runners start on Staten Island and pour across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, through the other four Boroughs of New York City, and finish in Central Park. It’s a fast course. The top time is sometimes a world record, and there have been some dramatic final moments. In 2005, the winner out-sprinted the second place finisher [...]