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Investment Returns, Strong Dollar on Course to Butt Heads

30 Mar

What do Applied Materials, Boeing, Coach, Ford, Intel, McDonald’s, Nike and Pfizer all have in common? Besides being in the S&P 500, they all do a lot of business outside the U.S. In fact, nearly half the firms in the S&P 500 get 46% of their sales and half their profits from business conducted internationally.  Global scale is [...]

A Tale of Two Americas

24 Nov

  It’s an odd time here in the U.S. Why? Conflicting signals from the American populace. It seems it’s sunny skies and stormy weather at the same time! On one hand, our economy seems to be picking up. After all, the Consumer Confidence Index recently climbed to 94.5 and the Consumer Sentiment Index hit 86.9. Both of these measures [...]

Independence: Scotland Leaving England

17 Nov

This story monopolized the headlines globally, every time you turned on television, picked up the paper or looked to the internet, “Scotland Votes to Leave the UK.”   There have been some major concerns raised with Scotland attempting to leave the UK.  After all, it’s not it what means to England but to Europe as [...]

The Great Unwind: Enacting Things that Need to Be Done

10 Nov

Another recent report that I read said that 109.6 million Americans which translates to 35.4% of the population, live in households that receive benefits from one or more federally-funded Means-tested programs – also known as welfare. In 2012, there were 103 million full-time year-round workers in the United States, so therefore welfare recipients outnumbered full-time [...]

August Unemployment Report

3 Nov

I get a lot of reports from economists, and one that continues to haunt me is the August Unemployment Report provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It was a pretty big disappointment! According to the August Unemployment Report, the percentage of Americans working or looking for work was at a 36-year low. People are [...]

Generating interest

30 Sep

Regular readers of this blog might have me pegged as a serial pessimist. When it comes to the big-picture economic outlook, I’ve been sounding the alarm for some time now. I simply feel that there are too many shaking and unsustainable pillars propping up the markets and the economy right now, and I have a [...]

Is the government lying to us about inflation?

29 Apr

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been in the news quite a bit lately. One CPI data point that seems to me to have not gotten as much discussion and attention as it deserved was the announcement that CPI jumped an unexpected 0.7% in February. This is an alarming spike: the highest monthly increase since [...]

With prices rising, is it time for a bond boom or bust?

11 Mar

As of Feb. 22, the 10 year Treasury bond yield has risen nearly 30% from its all-time low last July: from 1.404% to 1.965%. As rates have risen, prices have fallen and will most likely continue to fall. What does it mean for the average investor? Proceed with caution. This could be a sign that [...]

Inherited IRAs

14 May

In an attempt to raise what would have amounted to literally billions of dollars of additional tax revenue, the Senate finance committee recently floated a proposal that would make it compulsory to empty an inherited IRA account within five years of a benefactor’s death. Holders of inherited IRAs, who can spread taxable distributions across their [...]

Fringing benefits?

25 Jul

We have seen over and over again in recent polls that, for businesses, families and individuals alike, the biggest financial concern right now isn’t the price of gas or the cost of a gallon of milk; it’s the direction–or, perhaps more accurately, the lack of direction–of the country with regard to our financial policies. The [...]