Getting a Good Start

By |2019-04-18T05:48:10+00:00April 18th, 2019|Global Market Update|

How do you start your day? Photo: Viktor Hanacek. Source: Picjumbo I like to cook up a batch of oatmeal, when I have the time. Some fruit, milk, and a little sweetener make it very filling and nutritious. Doctors tell us that it’s important to have breakfast, to replenish our body’s store of energy and nutrients, to keep from getting hungry later and overeating. The important thing is to get started, to begin your day well. It’s the same thing with investing. It’s critical [...]

In the Long Run

By |2019-04-16T10:23:26+00:00April 16th, 2019|Global Market Update|

The 123rd Boston Marathon was held this week. Can we learn something from this historic event? 2019 Boston Marathon. Photo: Doug Tengdin Investing is a lot like running. We set goals, work towards those goals, adjust when we have setbacks, allocate precious resources -- time, money, attention, knees – and eventually, see some kind of payoff. And there are some very special lessons that come from looking closely at an historic event like the Boston Marathon. First, your goals are specific to you. I [...]

Tulips for Sale?

By |2019-04-12T07:00:28+00:00April 12th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Have you heard about tulipmania? Photo: Ellywa. Source: Wikimedia During the Golden Age of Holland, merchants from around the world traded their silver, spices, and textiles in Amsterdam, the capital of the Dutch Republic. Holland had cheap energy, skilled labor, and excellent ports, making an ideal trading center, just as trade with the New World and the Far East was expanding rapidly. The growth of commerce and wealth allowed Holland to lead the world in art, science, agriculture, and military prowess. Their position as [...]

Retail Therapy

By |2019-04-04T23:00:48+00:00April 4th, 2019|Global Market Update|

“Let’s go shopping!” Indoor shopping mall in Stockholm: Photo: Arild Vågen. Source: Wikimedia Markets and malls and bazaars and finding bargains have always been part of the human experience. When my wife and I lived in North Africa, every expedition to the old city’s primary marketplace, the souk, was a treasure hunt: find what we wanted, haggle with the shop’s owner, and collect our prize – or not! Often, successful bargaining meant walking away multiple times. When we got our prizes home, our friends [...]

“To Boldly Go …”

By |2019-04-03T06:31:52+00:00April 3rd, 2019|Global Market Update|

Are you a techno-optimist, or a techno-pessimist? “Star Fleet” symbol. Illustration: Jesper Hansen. Source: Wikimedia People have always been both captivated and challenged by technology. Like many, I grew up watching Star Trek on television, thrilling as Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise explored “strange new worlds.” Science fiction allows us to imagine the potential gifts of new knowledge: faster-than-light travel, teleporting, food-synthesis. The possibilities are endless. But there are always problems. Fire burns. Klingons declare war on humans. There’s trouble with [...]

Boeing Blues

By |2019-04-02T16:33:52+00:00April 2nd, 2019|Global Market Update|

“If it’s not Boeing, I’m not going.” Boeing 737max on final approach. Source: Wikimedia That’s how lots of pilots often spoke of Boeing’s airframes. These were built around the flight crew’s needs, giving the pilot and co-pilot as much control as possible. Pilots, like most people, like to feel that they’re in charge. The 737 airframe has been a workhorse in the air travel system ever since its introduction in 1967. It has been in continuous production, with over 10,000 planes built and 4,600 [...]

Black Magic?

By |2019-04-02T05:33:14+00:00April 2nd, 2019|Global Market Update|

Are you superstitious? Photo Source: Max Pixel Most people are, to some degree. Hotels don’t have a 13th floor. Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky date, and seven is a lucky number. Magic often plays a big role in popular culture. Witches and spells play a major role in the TV series The “Game of Thrones,” and “Harry Potter” books and shows are built around magic. Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clark once asserted that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. [...]

Robot Graduates

By |2019-03-29T09:12:09+00:00March 29th, 2019|Global Market Update|

“You want to build robots or sell robots.” Photo: Ann H. Source: Pexels That was the advice I heard for young people a few years ago, and at the time it sounded a lot like the “plastics” comment from at beginning of the 1967 movie “The Graduate,” where a neighbor tells Dustin Hoffman’s character that he has one word of advice, just one word. That word, in the mid-60s, was plastics. There was a great future in plastics. Thousands of jobs and billions in [...]

Fashioning Change

By |2019-03-29T05:58:34+00:00March 29th, 2019|Global Market Update|

“Fashion is made to be unfashionable.” Photo: Rawpixel. Source: Pixabay That’s what fashion designer and business woman Coco Chanel said about the clothing business. She grew up in an impoverished family in a south of France in the late 19th century. Her mother died of tuberculosis when she was 12, and her father placed her in an orphanage, where she learned to sew. After a brief stint as a cabaret performer, she began to design and sell innovative outfits and looks. She’s credited for [...]

On the Beach

By |2019-03-28T05:45:59+00:00March 28th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Have you ever noticed beach grass? Photo: Ellywa. Source: Wikimedia New England beaches have a lot of sand dunes, often covered with beach grass. The plants grow in lines, supported by underground runners that link them to each another. Over time, the grass thickens and the dunes stabilize. This helps prevent erosion. In Europe, people used to use beach grass for fuel, thatch for their roofs, and for animal feed, until they realized that using the up the grass caused the shoreline to shift. [...]