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.

Home on the Range?

By |August 12th, 2019|

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 [...]

Starlight Policy

By |August 8th, 2019|

Is it getting dark? Photo: Jason Jenkins. Source: Flikr. CC-BY-SA 2.0 It’s been said that you only see the starlight when the sun goes down. And the sun has been going down on interest rates for a long, long time. Japan is perhaps the poster-child for low rates. Their economy went through a serious contraction in the late ‘90s, and interest rates there fell to [...]

The Return of Risk

By |August 6th, 2019|

Why are the markets so volatile? Photo: Phoebe Tengdin. Used by permission. Happy markets are all alike. Each unhappy market is unhappy in its own way. It started with a dispute between the Fed and the Administration. Like every first-term president since Harry Truman, Donald Trump wants lower interest rates. And he wants them now. Lower interest rates will improve the short term performance of [...]

Capital Ideas

By |August 5th, 2019|

What is capital? Photo: Dmitry S. Source: Flikr Capital is the stuff businesses use to make money. Factories have machinery and robots and 3D printers to make stuff; builders have tools and trucks to build stuff; service organizations use people and processes and meeting spaces to care for stuff. And everyone needs computers and data. Capital is what allows an economy to grow, and access [...]

Together but Apart

By |August 2nd, 2019|

Where do trade conflicts come from? “Luncheon of the Boating Party” by Auguste Renoir. Source: Wikipedia. Markets around the world were roiled recently by the announcement of more US tariffs on Chinese-made goods. The President announced the levies as punishment for China’s failing to buy more agricultural products or stem the flow of illegal drugs into the US. But the real frustration many have with [...]

Mountains of Risk

By |August 1st, 2019|

Can mountains teach us about risk management? Photo: Janna Michael. Used by permission. Mountains can be beautiful. But when you go hiking in the mountains, the first thing you learn is to respect them. No one ever “conquers” a peak. Sir Edmond Hillary didn’t “conquer” Everest; Whymper didn’t “conquer” the Matterhorn. The men and women who made these first ascents did something unprecedented, but the [...]

Diamond Are What?

By |July 31st, 2019|

Are diamonds anything like an investor’s best friend? Photo: ArielGold. Source: Wikipedia Diamonds are an incredible instrument. They are so dense and transparent at the same time that light bends quite sharply when it enters or exits the gemstone. They’re incredibly hard, but can also be trimmed and formed. By cutting a gem into just the right shape with the ideal number of facets in [...]

Hamburger Helpers

By |July 29th, 2019|

What can hamburgers teach us about economics? Photo: Phil Grey. Source: Needpix. CC0 Around the world, the McDonald’s Big Mac is a model of consistency. Whether we walk into a McDonald’s in Beijing or Brussels or Bogota, we’re going to see the same combination of beef patties, cheese, condiments, and a bun. That formula has been so successful that it’s offered in 36,000 restaurants in [...]

Fundamental Financial Forces

By |July 26th, 2019|

Is there a unified theory of finance? Photo: Doug Davey. Source: Flikr. CC-BY-2.0 In physics, scientists are searching for a unified theory. It’s possible one doesn’t exist. Ever since Maxwell discovered the equations that combine the forces of electricity, magnetism, and light, physicists have tried to tie all the rest of the fundamental forces in the universe together. Einstein described how electricity and magnetism work [...]