Youth League

By |2019-08-16T06:29:00-04:00August 16th, 2019|Global Market Update|

August is when fall practice starts. Photo: Luvmybry. Source: Pixabay. I remember biking to soccer practice. The hot August days were even hotter as we warmed up, ran drills, and scrimmaged twice a day. Life was simple: the only thing I had to remember was to bring my soccer cleats and some extra water bottles. Later, I took my kids to their own soccer leagues. They had a blast, running up and down the field. The notion of passing the ball, working together, and [...]

Soak Up the Sun?

By |2019-08-15T06:48:48-04:00August 15th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Did you get to the beach this summer? Photo: Pierre-Laurent Durantin. Source: Pixabay The beach is a great place to relax and cool off on a hot summer weekend. New Hampshire doesn’t have miles and miles of empty sand, but we do have some nice areas. And the ocean is cool, with the Labrador Current coming down past Canada along the New England coast. But if you go to the beach, be sure to bring some protection from the sun! Aside from the health [...]

Managing Risk, Accepting Returns

By |2019-08-14T06:10:29-04:00August 14th, 2019|Global Market Update|

People think of investing as managing money. But it’s really about managing risk. All-woman skydiving stunt team. Source: Wikimedia. CC-SA-4.0 Risk is the chance that something bad will happen. When we invest, we don’t want bad things to happen to our money. So we try to avoid excessively risky situations. The problem is, there’s no way to insure against all the risks we face with our money. There seems to be an infinite number of flavors of financial risk: credit risk, liquidity risk, inflation [...]

Barbed Wire Apps

By |2019-08-13T06:53:37-04:00August 13th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Ironic, isn’t it? Photo: US Army. Source: National Archives. Public Domain. The same technology that ended the range wars of the Old West – conflicts over property rights stemming from free-ranging animals – was soon put to use by military minds to create defensive positions. During World War I, barbed wire was a crucial part of trench warfare, protecting key emplacements from charging soldiers. And it was used to keep people enclosed, too. Herding and controlling them when they are prisoners. The same thing [...]

Home on the Range?

By |2019-08-12T09:23:39-04:00August 12th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Have you ever worked with barbed wire? Photo: Amber Furness/USFWS. Source: Flikr. Public Domain. In the late 19th century, settlers were moving into the American west. They needed to control animal movements over vast stretches of territory. Railroads needed to keep livestock off their tracks. Farmers needed to keep stray cattle from trampling their crops. Ranchers needed fence their grazing ranges against encroachment. Traditional fencing materials like wood and stone weren’t practical in the large open spaces, and dugout hedging wasn’t reliable in [...]

Starlight Policy

By |2019-08-08T06:00:18-04:00August 8th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Is it getting dark? Photo: Jason Jenkins. Source: Flikr. CC-BY-SA 2.0 It’s been said that you only see the starlight when the sun goes down. And the sun has been going down on interest rates for a long, long time. Japan is perhaps the poster-child for low rates. Their economy went through a serious contraction in the late ‘90s, and interest rates there fell to almost zero in 2001. They went negative in 2015. In Europe, some countries began to see negative interest rates [...]

The Return of Risk

By |2019-08-06T06:26:40-04:00August 6th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Why are the markets so volatile? Photo: Phoebe Tengdin. Used by permission. Happy markets are all alike. Each unhappy market is unhappy in its own way. It started with a dispute between the Fed and the Administration. Like every first-term president since Harry Truman, Donald Trump wants lower interest rates. And he wants them now. Lower interest rates will improve the short term performance of the economy and help his chances for reelection. The Fed has its own institutional priorities. They want to maintain [...]

Capital Ideas

By |2019-08-05T05:40:49-04:00August 5th, 2019|Global Market Update|

What is capital? Photo: Dmitry S. Source: Flikr Capital is the stuff businesses use to make money. Factories have machinery and robots and 3D printers to make stuff; builders have tools and trucks to build stuff; service organizations use people and processes and meeting spaces to care for stuff. And everyone needs computers and data. Capital is what allows an economy to grow, and access to capital – physical and human – enables people and nations to become wealthy. Percent of firms expanding capital [...]

Together but Apart

By |2019-08-02T05:59:08-04:00August 2nd, 2019|Global Market Update|

Where do trade conflicts come from? “Luncheon of the Boating Party” by Auguste Renoir. Source: Wikipedia. Markets around the world were roiled recently by the announcement of more US tariffs on Chinese-made goods. The President announced the levies as punishment for China’s failing to buy more agricultural products or stem the flow of illegal drugs into the US. But the real frustration many have with China has been the persistent trade gap we have with them: the fact that we buy more goods from [...]

Mountains of Risk

By |2019-08-01T05:39:22-04:00August 1st, 2019|Global Market Update|

Can mountains teach us about risk management? Photo: Janna Michael. Used by permission. Mountains can be beautiful. But when you go hiking in the mountains, the first thing you learn is to respect them. No one ever “conquers” a peak. Sir Edmond Hillary didn’t “conquer” Everest; Whymper didn’t “conquer” the Matterhorn. The men and women who made these first ascents did something unprecedented, but the mountains are still there. And what we respect is the mountain’s weather, its terrain, its remoteness, its unpredictability. Mountains [...]