By |2019-08-23T06:37:00-04:00August 23rd, 2019|Global Market Update|

Have you been to the ocean shore? Photo: Muhammad Light. Source: Pexels. The beach is a place of high energy. The ocean rolls in, wave after wave. There’s nothing to block the wind. Storms just increase the energy throughput. There’s something mesmerizing about going to the shoreline and seeing the surf. Whether it’s a beautiful sunny day or there’s dark clouds on the horizon, the ocean is a lovely place. It’s no surprise to see plants and animals disrupted by all the energy. Tidal [...]

Mid-Life Tech?

By |2019-08-22T06:55:47-04:00August 22nd, 2019|Global Market Update|

Are tech companies having a mid-life crisis? Source: Goodfreephotos. CC0 They’ve been extraordinarily successful at search and ads and e-commerce. New devices are everywhere. The young companies Google and Facebook have a combined market cap of well over a trillion dollars, and they dominate the world. The founders are fabulously wealthy. By any account, these Silicon Valley startups are huge successes. But what are they accomplishing? They began by building a better search engine and a way to connect with friends and family. But [...]

Market Lemmings?

By |2019-08-21T06:32:10-04:00August 21st, 2019|Global Market Update|

Is the market headed off a cliff? Photo: Rob Watling. Source: Flikr. CC-BY-ND 2.0 That’s what a lot of folks are saying. They cite our political mess, our slow-growth economy, negative interest rates in Europe, rising corporate leverage, and accounting tricks and they figure a crash must be coming. So, with the stock market close to its record high and bond yields near record lows, is it time to sell everything? The short answer is, probably not. It’s almost never a good idea to [...]

Shareholders or Stakeholders?

By |2019-08-20T07:00:32-04:00August 20th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Do you like your boss? Photo: Bill Ingalls. Source: Flikr, NASA. Public Domain. A group of CEOs have decided that they don’t. The top brass at companies like JP Morgan, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, and Walmart have signed a statement moves their primary allegiance from shareholders to “stakeholders.” A stakeholder is someone who has a stake in a business, without necessarily committing capital. Employees, suppliers, communities, and customers are all stakeholders. They are all hurt if a company fails, and they want – in [...]

Back to School?

By |2019-08-19T10:03:04-04:00August 19th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Is the college bubble bursting? Photo: BHVP. Source: Wikipedia What’s one thing everyone agrees on? That education is good. And if some education is good, more education must be better, right? College enrollment grew by millions of students from 1990 to 2010. This is part of the reason that the cost of college has gotten so high. While the population in the US increases 1% per year, college enrollment was growing by 2% per year. When demand increases without an increase in supply, [...]

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 [...]