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 [...]

Bumpy Roads

By |2018-10-05T06:51:09+00:00October 5th, 2018|Global Market Update|

How good is your car’s suspension? Photo: Kenneth Allen. Source: Geograph. CC-BY-2.0 Driving along the back roads in New England can be an adventure. There are twists and turns and frost heaves that rise up in the late winter / early spring and then degenerate into potholes in the summer and fall. These can make our highways and byways hazardous to a vehicle’s undercarriage. How fast we travel depends on how firm a grip we have on the wheel and whether we have dental [...]

Planning for Uncertainty

By |2018-10-04T06:43:53+00:00October 4th, 2018|Global Market Update|

What will the future bring? Photo: PublicDomainPictures. Source: Pixabay I remember how it felt to hold my first baby. All thoughts about myself and my personal plans evaporated; all I could think about was what the world would be like for my new child. It’s natural to plan, to wonder what the future holds. We make plans for work, leisure, and how to deal with our everyday lives, and it’s rare to look more than a few years ahead. But when we have children, [...]

Getting Feedback

By |2018-10-03T06:42:23+00:00October 3rd, 2018|Global Market Update|

Are we addicted to our smartphones? Photo: Rawpixel. Source: Pxhere In just a few short years, smartphones have taken over immense swaths of our lives. Our phones are stuck to our hands like glue. It’s almost impossible to imagine modern life without them. We use their GPS function to get directions, we consult them for the news of the day, and – above all – we use our phones to stay connected to work, family, and friends. We’re hooked on the tiny jolt of [...]

Rushing Backward

By |2018-10-02T07:52:07+00:00October 2nd, 2018|Global Market Update|

Is there ever enough time? Illustration: Prawny. Source: Pixabay I often find myself running from one task to the next, glancing at the time, hoping that there won’t be construction or a school bus along the route to make me late. But why? Why do we find ourselves in such a hurry, despite all the reminders we set for ourselves – on our smartphones, on our planners, even with our friends. “Please remind me to leave on time!” The Stoic philosopher Seneca has a [...]

Sssssshhhhhh!!!!!

By |2018-10-01T08:03:53+00:00October 1st, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have you ever overheard a secret? Source: Pixabay We hear personal, private information all the time. When we’re driving we hear cars honk at each other. When we’re walking on the street we hear other folks on their phones. When out for a jog, we wave at joggers going the other way. All these interactions and connections are personal. And they all contain data about other people, data that – until now – was mostly lost in the shuffle of everyday life. But now, [...]