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.

Going Deep

By |June 7th, 2018|

What is deep learning? Photo: Seeman. Source: Morguefile Deep learning is a machine-learning method that computers use to recognize complex patterns, like human speech and 3-D objects. It takes a signal – like a sentence – and processes it through multiple layers of calculations and algorithms to come to a conclusion. It’s a way for a computer to “learn” something without being explicitly programmed. Of [...]

Fear and Loathing in the Markets

By |June 6th, 2018|

Who’s afraid of the big, bad market? Doré illustration from Paradise Lost. Public Domain. Source: Wikipedia We fear losing a lot more than we value winning. That’s why money-back guarantees are so effective in getting us to try something new, even though it’s usually a real hassle getting our money back. We don’t want to get stuck with something we don’t want, and that guarantee [...]

There Be (Data) Giants

By |June 5th, 2018|

Why are the data giants so giant? Jolly Green Giant near Le Sueur, Minnesota. Public Domain. Source: Wikimedia In a word, fundamentals. Since 2010, the market size of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google has tripled, while their revenues have more than tripled, and their earnings have more than doubled. This has happened while the companies have amassed a giant cash hoard of over half [...]

User Goods

By |June 4th, 2018|

How much are users worth? Public Domain. Source: Dreamstime Amazon has Prime, Netflix has subscribers, and Limebike has riders. Each of these companies has a user-base that loves its service, and creates value for the firm that manages it. But what is the basis for this value? What makes some user-bases profitable, while others – like newspaper subscriptions – seem to wither away and die? [...]

Busy, Busy Bees

By |June 1st, 2018|

What lessons should investors take from nature? Photo: Victor Hanacek. Source: Picjumbo Nature is infinitely resilient and adaptive, adjusting to changes in circumstances to improve its outcomes. We find living things growing and thriving even in the harshest environments: the hot springs in Yellowstone, Antarctic “lakes” under miles of ice. We should expect that the natural world can teach us some important lessons. As an [...]

Something Old, Something Updated

By |May 31st, 2018|

Software is more important than we think. Old Chrysler and new Tesla Model 3. Photo: Doug Tengdin Recently, Consumer Reports refused to recommend the Tesla Model 3 to its subscribers. This is a big deal. The Model 3 is Tesla’s first attempt to produce an affordable, mass-market car, and Consumer Reports is highly prestigious. They have an incredibly powerful reputation for integrity. Their subscription-based model [...]

Falling Down, Getting Up

By |May 30th, 2018|

What makes a successful innovation? Photo: Dani Simmonds. Source: Morguefile The modern world has been dramatically changed by its innovations: air travel, electric lights, telephones, automobiles, computers. These have had a revolutionary impact, changing not only how we do our jobs, but the jobs we do. Indeed, mastering the dynamics of innovation is critical for any company. Companies talk about innovation in their quarterly reports [...]

Competitive Drive, Competitive Pressures

By |May 29th, 2018|

Is competition always good? Photo: David Iliff. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0. Source: Wikimedia Competition has been touted as “good for what ails us.” Competitive markets spur innovation, lower prices, and better customer service. Upset with your cell phone provider? Encourage competition: another provider that wants to win your business by providing better cell coverage, better customer service, or charging lower prices. The economist Milton Friedman attributed [...]

Real Returns, Real Differences

By |May 25th, 2018|

Why is the US so fortunate? Public Domain. Source: NASA When you look at global stock market returns, the US stands out. Over the past 10 years, money invested in the US has grown almost 150%, while global investments are up by half that much. That’s a significant difference for any investor. This isn’t just a recent thing. Since 1900, a dollar invested in the [...]