Winter Storm Watch

By |2018-12-07T14:30:03-04:00December 7th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Are we ready for this? Early winter storm. Public Domain. Source: Max Pixel November this year was the coldest and snowiest ever in the Northeast. In general, we try to prepare for winter early, cleaning the yard, raking leaves, splitting and stacking wood. But these early storms caught us a little off guard. In particular, I hadn’t changed to snow tires. Usually, putting them on by Thanksgiving and taking them off after tax day is good enough. But not this time. Apparently, we weren’t [...]

Underdogs and Understories

By |2018-12-06T16:25:47-04:00December 6th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Not every little tree makes it. Pine forest understory. Source: Wikimedia Last summer I went for a walk in woods near my home and noticed a mature stand of white pine with what looked like a hundred little saplings underneath. It was lovely: the majestic pines overhead and the dense carpet of green in the understory. The needles looked soft in the morning light. I thought, “You’re not all going to make it, little friends.” There wasn’t enough room in the forest canopy for [...]

Financial Tundras?

By |2018-12-05T06:04:45-04:00December 5th, 2018|Global Market Update|

The mountains are beautiful. Lake of the Clouds on Mount Washington, NH. Photo: PaulB. Source: Wikimedia I love hiking in the alpine tundra in the Appalachian Mountains. The way plants and animals adapt to the harsh weather up there is amazing. But nature is incredibly diverse, whether up in the mountains or down in the depths of the sea or out on the African veldt. Every possible niche seems to be stuffed with a diverse array of plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms. Wherever there’s [...]

Financial Fog

By |2018-12-04T17:39:53-04:00December 4th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have you ever felt like you’re stumbling in the dark? Photo: Source: Picography A few years ago, my wife and I made a long drive on a deeply foggy night. It was hard. The fog reflected the headlights back at us, dazzling our vision. Otherwise, the thick fog made the night especially dark. It felt like we were driving inside a ping-pong ball. I was so relieved when we arrived safely, but it took a while to unwind. Sometimes it can feel that [...]

Inside, Outside, Offside

By |2018-12-03T08:16:59-04:00December 3rd, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have you ever felt like an outsider? Kids trading marbles. Photo: Tup Wanders. Source: Flikr. CC-BY-2.0 When I was in high school, a bunch of the cool kids had a private language they used. It was a kind of pig Latin they called “Guy-the-gee,” where they changed normal words into their special constructions, with a different grammar, too. When they started jabbering to one another in their private code, no one outside their group had any idea what they were saying. Which was one [...]

Shaving Platforms

By |2018-12-01T18:58:27-04:00December 1st, 2018|Global Market Update|

“Give away the razor, make money on the blade.” Photo: Zino Davidoff. Source: Wikimedia One of the most unpleasant tasks of my morning is shaving with a dull razor. It’s painful, unpleasant, and I nick myself all the time. 100 years ago, people would put up with dull blades for a long time, rather take the chance of cutting themselves and getting infected. Sharpening a straight razor is delicate. The blade has to be honed and stropped on a leather strap to remove any [...]

The Arrow of Clutter

By |2018-11-29T09:19:15-04:00November 29th, 2018|Global Market Update|

My desk is a mess. Source: Pexels No matter how much I focus, no matter how many filing systems I try, my desk still seems to accumulate reports and notes and half-finished books and articles. The piles just mount up. Maybe it’s my personality, or maybe it’s the nature of my work. The other day I found an old invoice marked “paid” from three years ago. It was tucked away in a drawer, waiting to surprise me, I suppose. I have no idea how [...]

Beaver / Otter Balance

By |2018-11-28T06:10:09-04:00November 28th, 2018|Global Market Update|

How busy are you? Photo: Tom Koerner. Source: USFWS I used to know about a beaver pond where we could go watch them. We had to be very quiet getting there, but if we were, we could see them working around their pond. If we moved suddenly or a twig snapped under foot, we’d hear a sudden slap on the water and they’d disappear, hiding in their lodge. But if we were careful we could sit by the pond for hours and watch them [...]

Love Locks, Love Stocks

By |2018-11-27T08:44:45-04:00November 27th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Do you have keepsakes in your life? Photo: Petar Milošević. Source: Wikimedia One of my children taught me about “love locks” recently. A couple attaches a padlock to a bridge or a fence or some other public fixture and throws away the key, often into a nearby river. The lock is supposed to symbolize their unbreakable love. I first heard that it was an Italian tradition, but then learned that it’s a global trend. Authorities around the world usually treat the locks as litter [...]

Avoiding a Crash

By |2018-11-26T07:54:53-04:00November 26th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Did everyone get home safely? Photo: John Mosesso, NBII. Source: Wikimedia The Sunday after Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel days of the year. It’s estimated that over 4 million people flew home on Sunday, with almost 50 million taking to the roads. I drove into Boston’s Logan Airport early Sunday morning, and the traffic at 5:30 am was something to see – cars honking and cutting each other off, security officers yelling and waving frantically, folks scrambling to get themselves and [...]