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Home 2017-07-28T13:07:05+00:00

Shell Shocked

By | March 29th, 2018|

Are we still recovering from the Great Recession? “No Man’s Land” outside of Flanders, 1919. Photo: W.L. King. Source: Library of Congress It took years for the fields outside of Ypres to recover from the World War I. The bombardment and trenching left scars on the land that are still visible. Similarly, the Great Recession can also be felt in some parts of the US [...]

Which Comes First?

By | March 28th, 2018|

Are you a chicken farmer or an egg farmer? People who raise chickens do it for two reasons. They either raise them for the eggs, or they raise them for their meat. Broilers grow pretty quickly, and then they’re harvested – usually in about 8 weeks. Layers take longer to mature. They usually don’t begin laying until they’re at least 6 months old, and they [...]

Uneven Growth

By | March 27th, 2018|

What do you do when your portfolio becomes lopsided? Photo: Alan Murray-Rust. Source: Geograph That’s the challenge that a lot of investors are facing. Facebook and Amazon and the other growth darlings have done so well for so long that they now represent an oversized position in many portfolios. It’s a simple matter of mathematics: If a holding in a 20-stock portfolio doubles in a [...]

Jerome Powell: Master of the Universe

By | March 26th, 2018|

Who is Jay Powell? Public Domain. Source: Federal Reserve Jerome Powell, or “Jay,” is the 16th head of the Federal Reserve, charged with overseeing the nation’s money supply and financial system. Because of the Fed’s economic significance, the Fed Chair has been called the second most powerful person in the nation, with an outsized role regarding monetary policy. While our central bank is a hybrid [...]

An Economy with a View?

By | March 23rd, 2018|

It’s not working. Italian Riviera at Moneglia. Photo: Fiore dod. Source: Wikimedia For the past 10 years incomes have diverged dramatically within the Euro-zone. Germany has done pretty well, most other countries have muddled along, and incomes in Italy have fallen. Per capita GDP in Italy is now 5% lower than it was in 2000. By contrast, the entire Euro-zone is 12% higher and Germany [...]

Starting Seeds

By | March 22nd, 2018|

It’s cold outside. So why are we thinking about gardening? Photo: Rasbak. Source: Wikimedia Outside we’re on the edge of another nor’easter, to be followed by more cold temperatures. Welcome to March in New Hampshire! Folks who have been here a while know that while this March has been pretty stormy, it will pass. And pretty soon, we’ll be looking at warmer temperatures and muddy [...]

Confidence Games

By | March 21st, 2018|

Are we over-confident? Photo: Marinwib. Source: Pixabay Confidence is good. It helps us get up in the morning. We can confidently expect the sun to rise and roosters to crow. If you aren’t confident in the fishing, you’ll never head out and you’ll never catch anything. But when it comes to investing, confidence can be our enemy. It tempts us to do stupid things, investing [...]

The End of Marketing

By | March 20th, 2018|

Marketing is dead. Long live marketing! Photo: Evan-Amos. Source: Wikimedia Brands didn’t used to exist. “Build a better mousetrap” Ralph Waldo Emerson said in the 19th century, “and the world will beat a path to your door.” If you could grow better corn or pigs or make better chairs or knives or church organs, you didn’t need to advertise. The quality of people’s work was [...]

German Lessons

By | March 15th, 2018|

What is Germany? Reichstag building in Berlin. Photo: Matthew Field. Source: Wikimedia For some, Germany calls up images of the Bavarian castles and cruises on the Rhine. For others it’s Oktoberfest and lederhosen, or the Autobahn, or cathedrals. Still others get their images from old war movies or re-runs of “Hogan’s Heroes.” For the markets, Germany means business. Sited between the low countries and the [...]