Managing Change

By |2019-10-02T07:37:56-04:00September 30th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Has your family changed, lately? Photo: Michael Jarmoluk. Source: Pixabay Ours certainly has. We sent our youngest off to college this fall, and our home is a lot quieter. We’re still pretty busy, but the nature of our activities has changed. We’re doing fewer school events and going to the doctor’s office more frequently. And our relationships with our adult children are very different than when they lived at home. Managing change – in our families, our circumstances, our relationships – is a crucial [...]

Comments Off on Managing Change

Bond-Colored Glasses

By |2019-10-02T07:37:56-04:00September 27th, 2019|Global Market Update|

How do you look at investing? Photo: Nattanan Kanchanaprat. Source: Pixabay I started investing by investing in the bond market. I was an analyst and Treasury Note trader for a medium-sized bank before I became a portfolio manager. Bonds are math-y instruments: they have maturity dates, call dates, coupon rates, a yield to maturity, and unique settlement details which all affect their price in all kinds of different ways. I loved the math associated with bonds, and now I tend to look at all [...]

Comments Off on Bond-Colored Glasses

Past Life, Future Lives

By |2019-10-02T07:37:56-04:00September 26th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Get over it. Source: Good Free Photos That’s often the advice we give when folks obsess over their most recent experiences, both positive and negative. What we’ve seen and done colors our outlook. If we’ve had a close call driving, we tend to be a little more cautious on the road. Someone who almost drowns when they’re young might grow up with a tremendous fear of going out on a boat. William Faulkner put it this way: “The past is never dead. It’s not [...]

Comments Off on Past Life, Future Lives

Inflating the Future?

By |2019-10-02T07:37:56-04:00September 25th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Is inflation too low? Photo: Pedro Lasta. Source: Fancycrave Recently, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell referred to an obscure measure of inflation, one computed by the Federal Reserve staff of the 11th Fed District at their Dallas headquarters. That sent reporters scurrying to find out what they were measuring. But what is inflation, anyhow? Inflation is a general increase in the prices of good and services. It can be hard to deal with. It’s hard enough to balance a budget without prices going up. In [...]

Comments Off on Inflating the Future?

Adventure Travel

By |2019-10-02T07:37:56-04:00September 20th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Do you remember your last adventure? Photo: Brandon Morales. Source: Unsplash I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, but my house bordered a small wood. It was a great place to ramble, to observe a family of racoons or hear a pheasant crow in the morning or find fox tracks in the mud. We never knew what we’d uncover. It gave me a spirit of exploration and adventure that I still find valuable, whether I’m trying to listen to my kids’ favorite music [...]

Comments Off on Adventure Travel

Family Feud?

By |2019-10-02T07:37:56-04:00September 19th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Where do conflicts and wars stem from? Samuel Huntington’s Civilizations Map. Source: Wikipedia In 1992, Dr. Samuel Huntington outlined his view of the coming world order. It was a heady time: the Berlin Wall had just fallen; East and West Germany were reunifying; Operation Desert Storm repelled Saddam Hussein’s aggressive invasion of Iraq. George H. W. Bush spoke of a “new world order.” Some political theorists proposed that we had reached the end of history. Liberal democracy and free-market capitalism, they thought, were inevitably [...]

Comments Off on Family Feud?

Job Terminators?

By |2019-10-02T07:37:56-04:00September 18th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Are robots coming for our jobs? Photo: dronepicr. Source: Wikimedia. CC-BY-2.0 The fears are as old as modern civilization: intelligent machines go crazy and turn on their creators. Two centuries ago, Mary Shelly wrote “Frankenstein” about an artificial man; William Shakespeare puts Caliban in “The Tempest,” a half-human creature who turns on his master; in 1675 a group of weavers in England destroyed the looms that were threatening their jobs. The problem became so widespread that in 1727 Parliament made such sabotage a capital [...]

Comments Off on Job Terminators?

Your Next Gig

By |2019-10-02T07:37:56-04:00September 17th, 2019|Global Market Update|

What is the “gig economy”? Photo: Roger Wallenberg. Source: Department of Defense A “gig” is a short-term contract for a performer. An assistant professor in Music Studies at Dartmouth complained once that he’d never find another gig like the one he had in Hanover. When people use the term now to describe the economy, they’re referring to the fact that more and more people are independent contractors – about 10% of today’s workforce. Apps on your smartphone like Uber and Airbnb make it simple [...]

Comments Off on Your Next Gig

Bright Lights, Rich City?

By |2019-10-02T07:37:56-04:00September 16th, 2019|Global Market Update|

The world’s cities shine brightly. Photo: Cexin Ding. Source: Unsplash. There’s an iconic photo of North Korea, taken five years ago by the crew of the International Space Station. It dramatically illustrates the relative economic activity of North Korea compared with neighboring South Korea and China. In the photo, North Korea is almost completely dark. It’s impossible to tell where its coast lies. In fact, South Korea looks like a separate land, cut off by an arm of the Yellow Sea from China. The [...]

Comments Off on Bright Lights, Rich City?

Dog and Cat Investing

By |2019-10-02T07:37:56-04:00September 13th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Do you invest like a cat or like a dog? Photo: Kitty.Green66. Source: Flikr. CC BY-SA 2.0 Our cat and dog have very different approaches to life. Both were “rescues,” but the similarity ends there. Our cat is playful and mischievous. When I get up in the morning, she jumps up and follows me to the kitchen. She sits on a chair next to me as I type, begging me to dangle a hand or string where she can swat it. If I’m concentrating [...]

Comments Off on Dog and Cat Investing