Managing Change

By |2019-10-02T07:37:56-05:00September 30th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Has your family changed, lately? Photo: Michael Jarmoluk. Source: Pixabay Ours certainly has. We sent our youngest off to college this fall, and our home is a lot quieter. We’re still pretty busy, but the nature of our activities has changed. We’re doing fewer school events and going to the doctor’s office more frequently. And our relationships with our adult children are very different than when they lived at home. Managing change – in our families, our circumstances, our relationships – is a crucial [...]

Comments Off on Managing Change

Capital Ideas

By |2019-08-05T05:40:49-05:00August 5th, 2019|Global Market Update|

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 to capital – physical and human – enables people and nations to become wealthy. Percent of firms expanding capital [...]

Comments Off on Capital Ideas

An Economic 7-Year Itch?

By |2019-02-07T11:59:49-05:00February 7th, 2019|Global Market Update|

Is the economy rolling over? Photo: Alexandra. Source: Pixabay Every so often our dog just rolls in the yard. We’re not sure why, whether she wants to scratch an itch or stretch or just frolic. It doesn’t matter whether it’s snowy or icy or hot or pleasant. When the time comes, she just rolls over and over. That’s how some people view the economy. Conditions could be good or bad or indifferent, but when it’s been long enough they figure it’s time for the [...]

Comments Off on An Economic 7-Year Itch?

Visions of Greatness (Part 4)

By |2018-05-03T06:24:57-05:00May 3rd, 2018|Global Market Update|

Can China build a great economy? Victoria Harbor and Hong Kong skyline. Photo: Samuel Louie. Source: Wikimedia In some ways, this seems like a foolish question. China’s economy is already huge. They’re the second largest economy in the world: $10 trillion, about half the size of the US. They’re a major player in trade, manufacturing, consumer goods, and the internet. But their stock market is tiny. They’re only 3% of global equity markets – about the size of France. And their bond market is [...]

Comments Off on Visions of Greatness (Part 4)

Snow Days?

By |2019-02-20T13:04:43-05:00February 13th, 2017|Global Market Update|

How do storms impact the markets? Source: NOAA We seem to be in a storm cycle. We just had a couple nor’easters, and it looks like more snow is on the way. At times like these, people wonder just how much weather can affect the economy. Last year was a great case-study. For the previous several years we’d had heavy weather disrupt the first quarter’s economic growth. Last year we had a mild winter, along with low energy prices. Economists were curious whether lower [...]

Comments Off on Snow Days?

Motoring On

By |2017-07-17T12:21:30-05:00January 24th, 2017|Global Market Update|

Where is the economy headed? Photo: Thomas Nilsson. Source: Pixabay Market-watchers are always looking for insight into what’s happening in the economy. It’s important to separate the signal from the noise. We can easily get distracted by politics, headline news, and our personal perspective. If you have a friend who can’t seem to find a job, it’s easy to conclude that the economy isn’t creating many jobs – even though your sample size makes the observation statistically irrelevant. But one economic factor that has [...]

Comments Off on Motoring On

Rebooting Expectations

By |2017-07-17T12:21:31-05:00January 12th, 2017|Global Market Update|

What’s happening in the global economy? JP Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI. Source: Bloomberg It’s no secret that the US stock market is approaching record levels. Business news reports seem to be obsessed with the Dow’s flirtation with the 20,000 mark – which first neared about a month ago. But far more important than Disney or IBM’s price – stock prices, after all, determine the level of the Dow Jones Industrial Average – is the status of the global economy. And the world economy has [...]

Comments Off on Rebooting Expectations

Great Expectations

By |2017-07-17T12:21:39-05:00October 21st, 2016|Global Market Update|

Is the market suffering from a case of mistaken identity? Public Domain. Scene from “Great Expectations.” Source: Wikipedia In Charles Dickens’ novel “Great Expectations,” his main character Pip is a poor orphan who suddenly starts to receive money from an unknown source. He thinks his mysterious benefactor is the cold and eccentric Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham is wealthy but mysterious, and she had taken Pip on as a companion for herself and her adopted daughter, Estella. In reality, though, Pip’s money was coming from [...]

Comments Off on Great Expectations

The Upside of Debt

By |2017-07-17T12:21:46-05:00August 19th, 2016|Global Market Update|

Is all this borrowing good for us? Source: St. Louis Fed A growing level of debt in an economy can be a good thing. By borrowing money to pay for capital, we can become more productive and everyone prospers. Think of the US borrowing massive amounts of money to build the interstate highway system in the ‘50s and ‘60s. The important thing to remember is that the return on investment has to be higher than the cost of the borrowing. That’s why today’s persistently [...]

Comments Off on The Upside of Debt

Winter of (Dis)content?

By |2017-07-17T12:22:07-05:00March 8th, 2016|Global Market Update|

Is this winter the best ever, or the worst? Photo: Viktor Hanachek. Source: Picjumbo For most people, this has been a pretty mild winter. Apart from the massive snowfall that hit the east coast about a month ago, there have been relatively few winter storms. A year ago, Boston was buried under over 9 feet of the white stuff. The record cold and record snowfall seemed to never end. Now, the streets are clear and home buyers are getting an early start to 2016. [...]

Comments Off on Winter of (Dis)content?