The Global Market Update is curated by Douglas Tengdin, CFA an employee of Charter Trust Company.
The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Charter Trust Company.
Investments may involve investment risk, including the possible loss of value.

Big Bad Stories

By |March 18th, 2019|

Are some myths dangerous? Paul Bunyan and Babe. Photo: Mike Baker. Source: Wikipedia Growing up, I read about the legendary lumberjack Paul Bunyan, and his faithful ox, “Babe.” They did amazing things, like create Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes, the St. Lawrence River’s 1,000 islands, and dig Lake Superior as a watering trough. The stories were a benign piece of folklore, a bit of boosterism about Americans [...]

Flower Power Investors

By |March 15th, 2019|

Remember the “Flower Children”? Photo: Rex Boggs. Source: Flikr. CC-BY-2.0 “Flower Power” was a movement in the mid and late ‘60s, part of the anti-Vietnam War movement. It was rooted in nonviolent ideology to transform war protests into peaceful spectacles. Young people embraced the flower-symbol by dressing in flowery clothes and decorating their vehicles with flowers and vibrant colors, wearing and singing about flowers in [...]

Hot Pepper Economics

By |March 14th, 2019|

What do we do when prices go up? Source: Wikimedia. CC-BY-2.0 We usually switch what we buy, if we can. If the price of cayenne pepper doubles, we try substituting chili powder. If Ford tries to jack up the price of its Expedition, sales of Chevy Suburbans go up. Substitution is what keeps our finances stable even when the prices of various household items double [...]

Data, Data, Data!

By |March 13th, 2019|

The 20th century was defined by the nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Will the 21st century be defined by “big data”? Thermonuclear blast, 1954. Public Domain. Source: Wikimedia, Department of Energy The 20th century began, conceptually, when Albert Einstein published his seminal paper on relativity. The intellectual revolution from this led to E = mc^2, nuclear energy, and the atomic bomb. Nuclear weapons revolutionized war, [...]

Diversifying Convenience

By |March 12th, 2019|

Have you been to a convenience store lately? Photo: Igor Oskyonnov. Source: Fancycrave. CC0. The breadth of offerings boggles the mind. There’s dozens of types of candy, beef jerky, chips, and cigarettes, coffee, milk, sports drinks, sodas. Often there’s a small hot area where you can buy pizza slices or hamburgers or hot dogs. The diversity of product is a way for the owner to [...]

European Mud Season

By |March 11th, 2019|

Is Europe stuck in the mud? Photo: Stephen West. Source: Wikimedia In New England we’re about to enjoy mud season, that period in late winter and early spring where the roads can become impossible to manage. During the day, the frozen roads thaw from the surface on down, and all the water from melting snow seeps into the thawed layer. Then the road freezes again [...]

Considering Our Options (Part 5)

By |March 9th, 2019|

Can options explain strategy? Option play in football. Source: Wikimedia. Public Domain. Options are choices. Strategy is acting out our choices. When a company chooses to lay off workers and focus on their online platform, they’re exercising a real, strategic option. When investors exercise protective puts on S&P 500 futures, they’re exercising financial options. When a professional “dresses for success” and chooses between flats and [...]

Your Brain on Investments

By |March 8th, 2019|

Why do our brains make it so hard to invest? Photo: Raman Oza. Source:Pixabay Thinking is hard work. Concentrating hard on a difficult task drains sugar from key parts of the brain. Usually, we use shortcuts to help us make decisions. We draw pictures; we remember past experiences; we tell ourselves stories to explain the data. Most frequently, we engage in wishful thinking. We [...]

Considering Our Options (Part 4)

By |March 7th, 2019|

Can options help us understand other investments? Source: Option-Price.com They sure can! Remember that options are choices: the right, but not the obligation, to do something, usually buying or selling. When you combine options with other investments, or options with other options, you may get a combination that helps you make some sense out how an investment strategy might work.. First, we need a quick [...]