Winners and Losers

By | 2017-12-04T07:15:08+00:00 December 4th, 2017|Global Market Update|

Who wins and loses from tax reform? Photo: Derek Lilly. Source: Morguefile Most of the comments on tax reform center on what happens to individuals – the personal exemption, the mortgage interest or medical expense deduction, and so on. That’s understandable: people want to know how different versions will directly affect them. And the bill’s depends on each taxpayer’s personal situation But the point of the pending legislation is corporate tax reform – to find ways to lower our corporate tax rate. It’s widely [...]

A Diverse Picture

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:18+00:00 June 5th, 2017|Global Market Update|

What’s happening in the world? “Convergence” by Jackson Pollack. Source: Albright-Knox Art Gallery Chaos. At least, what appears to be chaos. England just saw its third terrorist strike in three months. I had to double-check the dateline on the news article I was reading this weekend to be sure it wasn’t from last March. The details of the story seemed so similar. Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, a move supported by conservatives by widely panned by many others, including political, [...]

Style and Substance

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:27+00:00 March 31st, 2017|Global Market Update|

Was the stock market rally just based on sentiment? Chrysler Tower with Ravenswood power plant in the background. Photo: Eric Drost. Source: Wikipedia After our presidential election, global equity markets rose about 10%. The common explanation was that a pro-growth agenda could help the economy get out of its doldrums and reaccelerate. This would support profits and the stock market. With the failure of Congress’s repeal-and-replace attempt with healthcare legislation and other policy initiatives seemingly stalled, shouldn’t the markets fall back to where they [...]

Keep Calm and Stay Invested

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:37+00:00 November 9th, 2016|Global Market Update|

The sun will rise again. Sunrise from space. Source: NASA That’s what I thought this morning when I read the headlines. Lots of folks – both left and right – are freaking out. I can’t comment on social or political issues – they’re outside of my zone. But I do have one suggestion for investors: stay calm. When President Obama was elected a lot of people on the right expected that higher taxes and greater regulation would damage the economy. And we saw higher [...]

Politics and Investing

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:38+00:00 October 31st, 2016|Global Market Update|

Should politics impact our investing? Source: Wikipedia Many folks are concerned about the upcoming presidential election. The two major party candidates elicit strong reactions. Three quarters of those surveyed think it will have a big impact on their personal finances. And many folks are pulling out of the market in response to their fears of a Clinton or Trump presidency. Is this a good idea? It’s helpful to look at a little history. During the dot-com busty from 2000 to 2003 the Nasdaq index [...]

On the Ground Game

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:09+00:00 February 8th, 2016|Global Market Update|

The ground game is critical. Photo: Gabor. Source: Morguefile That’s what surprised me about Sunday’s Super Bowl. Both teams used a lot of time running the ball, trying to open up holes in the defense, pounding and grinding yards away from one another. As someone who grew up cheering for Fran Tarkington’s Vikings and rooting for the New England Patriots today, I expected shotgun formations and a lighting offense. Instead, we saw play after play dominated by running backs and rushing. Indeed, the only [...]

Iowa Futures

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:10+00:00 February 1st, 2016|Global Market Update|

Is Iowa typical? Artist: Grant Wood. Source: Wikipedia Iowa enjoys a funny place in American culture. Home to the first-in-the-nation political caucus, the state is often derided as quirky and out of touch—unlike big-city dominated states like Minnesota and Illinois to the north and east. It’s true that the Des Moines metro area only contains about 20% of Iowa’s population, versus Minneapolis and Chicago that have over 2/3rds of their States’ people. It’s also true that the state has a small minority population, and [...]

Irrational Political Economy

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:11+00:00 January 19th, 2016|Global Market Update|

Are voters rational? Direct Democracy in Switzerland. Source: Wikipedia. It’s primary season in my home in New Hampshire right now, and it’s impossible to get through dinner without receiving a phone call from a political polling organization. Every candidate is trying to get a feel for the state, where our opinions and moods lie, and what we think is important. Some see this whole process as irrational, a leftover artifact of a bygone era, where uninformed voters select self-interested politicians who manipulate and deceive [...]

Pacific Trade on Parade

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:25+00:00 October 7th, 2015|Global Market Update|

What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Photo: Seeman. Source: Morguefile The TPP is a trade agreement between 12 Pacific rim countries that seeks to lower tariffs, protect intellectual property, and provide a common framework for trade disputes. It potentially includes the US, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, and eight other nations, but it does not include China. Initially, the agreement was sold to US lawmakers as a way to “check the rise of China,” which seems foolish. We ought to celebrate the peaceful rise of a developing [...]

Detroit Renaissance?

By | 2017-07-17T12:23:11+00:00 November 25th, 2014|Global Market Update|

What can investors learn from Detroit? Source: Wikipedia Detroit was the worst of the worst. A city whose population had fallen almost 2/3rds over the last half century. A place where whole neighborhoods have been turned into urban prairie. It’s bankruptcy proceedings have been epic. What can we learn? […]