Amped Up Injuries

By |2018-12-28T06:16:33-04:00December 28th, 2018|Global Market Update|

When do we make our most painful mistakes? Illustration: Mohamed Hassan. Source: Pixabay Most of our biggest investment errors can be linked to charged emotions. We know what our most common mistakes are: overconfidence, loss-aversion, confirmation bias, selective data, and so on. What’s not well-studied is what makes us subject to these cognitive errors. A major factor is our emotions; whether we’re really happy or unbearably sad, getting emotional with money rarely ends well. This is more easily said than done. When an investment [...]

Bumpy Roads

By |2018-12-27T07:16:42-04:00December 27th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have you ever been on a long drive down a bumpy road? Photo: Valley Isle Excursions. Source: Flikr. CC-BY-2.0 As a newly-minted driver some umpteen years ago, I never understood why my parents always told me to slow down while driving on roads that got a little rough. It felt fine to me. To be honest, the chop and rattle could be a little exhilarating, a break from the monotony of long, straight, flat highways in the Midwest. But now that I’m a little [...]

Choose Wisely

By |2018-12-27T06:00:02-04:00December 27th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Remember Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? Public Domain. Source: Book of Romance, Flikr When Indiana gets to the final scene in a cave, he’s confronted by an array of choices. The one instruction he’s given is “Choose wisely.” That’s my theme for next year: choose wisely. Confronted by volatile markets? Choose wisely. Finding unexpected risks? Choose wisely. Facing personal pressures? Choose wisely. Our sources of wisdom should be diverse: from number-crunching to reflection on our own needs and limitations to insights from finance [...]

The Economics of Christmas

By |2018-12-21T11:49:07-04:00December 19th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have you ever considered the economic impact of Christmas? Photo: Viktor Hanacek. Source: Picjumbo There are lots Christmas celebrations. There’s the religious holiday, which is outside the scope of this blog. There is the secular holiday, where folks take time off to be with loved ones. It’s been noted that homeless shelters are pretty empty at Christmas. It’s the one time of the year many of those folks have someone to take them in. And then there’s the economic holiday: the [...]

Cookie Cutters?

By |2018-12-19T05:55:03-04:00December 19th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Do you like making gingerbread cookies? Photo: Viktor Hanacek. Source: Picjumbo. It’s a holiday tradition in our family: mixing, cooling, and rolling out the dough, cutting out and baking the shapes, then decorating the cookies with outlines, colors, and a personal touch. The smells that fill the kitchen are intoxicating: molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon. There’s nothing like it – although some enterprising candle companies have tried to generate the aroma in their jar candles. But it’s not the cookies or the aroma that’s so attractive. [...]

Trending Traditions

By |2018-12-17T07:37:56-04:00December 17th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Do you have any traditions around the holidays? Photo: Jill Wellington. Source: Pixabay. Lots of folks have traditions they observe this time of year around decorations, or gift-giving, or – especially – food. In Scandinavia they decorate a straw Christmas goat and place it in their living rooms, celebrating a time when a goat, not Santa, delivered Christmas gifts. My Jewish friends in grade school brought their Hanukah dreidels to school for show-and-tell, and we would guess which letter they would land on when [...]

Flitting, Feeding, and Digesting

By |2018-12-17T09:14:41-04:00December 14th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have you ever watched hummingbirds feed? Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS. Source: Flikr.CC-BY-2.0 We used to have a hummingbird feeder outside our front window. They’re fascinating to watch. They can be quite choosy. Because they use so much energy, they prefer only to feed on very sweet nectar – at least 25% sugar. By comparison, a can of soda like Pepsi or Sprite is about 15% sugar or its equivalent. They consume about half their weight in nectar each day. Because sweet nectar doesn’t have many [...]

Season’s Greetings?

By |2018-12-13T06:28:58-04:00December 13th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Are you ready? Photo: Igor Ovsyannykov. Source: Fancycrave In our family we never get ready very early for Christmas. Maybe it’s because I was a winter-sports athlete. Growing up, I had exams, intense training, and then competitions right into late December. My shopping happened after I returned home on the 23rd or so. Then there was an intense trip to the mall with wish-lists and backup-items and “evergreen” gifts – stuff that would always be welcome on a cold Christmas Day, like gloves and [...]

The Primacy of Planning

By |2018-12-10T23:10:53-04:00December 10th, 2018|Global Market Update|

What’s your plan? Photo: 7854. Source: Pixabay Recently, one of my teenage boys was driving home on a frosty evening and – as has happened to most of us – he slipped off the road. He called and asked if I could bring our truck to pull him out. No problem. I threw a tow chain into the back and trundled off. Only the road was too slick. After we hooked his car to our pickup, the tires couldn’t get enough of a grip [...]