America The Competitive

Change tends to surface gradually as many small indicators gather momentum to alter the big picture. Successful investing can benefit from an ability to “read the tea leaves” at the earliest possible time and then formulate a strategy that exploits anticipated changes. Much has been written about offshoring, job losses and domestic wage pressures. However, … Continued

Minimum Wages: A True Story

Recently there has been an increasing level of discussion regarding minimum wages. This is a difficult issue and regardless of the pros and cons, it is something that investors should be monitoring. The following is a true story and has real life implications for any discussion of the future of minimum wages. A number of … Continued

Go Figure

The polling entity Gallup Inc. this week reports that the job approval ratings for the US Congress has hit all-time lows, while President Obama’s job approval rating is similarly at the lowest level for his tenure. At the same time, the stock market is hitting all time highs. Does this strike anyone else as peculiar? … Continued

Tis’ the Season

As the gift-giving season is upon us, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are either braving the malls or shopping online for that perfect holiday gift. Recently we have had inquiries from clients regarding other suggestions we might have for gift-giving that might be more beneficial for their young loved ones. For many years, I have … Continued

The Minimum Wage Debate

Investors should be aware that this is a complicated issue and far from resolution. There are significant arguments, for and against, political and economic and, emotional. Any meaningful dialogue is complicated by media reports that tend to frame the debate in terms of cents per hour for low end workers versus aggregate corporate profits. Actually, … Continued

World Series Bound?

With a relatively quiet news flow on the business/stock market front, now is a good time to weigh in on the newly fashioned Detroit Tigers roster with the abundance of moves they have made this off-season. First, the Tigers have a new manager, Brad Ausmus, filling the very large shoes left vacant by Jim Leyland. … Continued

A New Broom Sweeps Clean

Probably generally true, but the results may not become apparent immediately. Any time there is a significant change at the top, new president, new governor, new CEO or new coach, change is almost certain, but investors should consider the presence of a “lag” factor. Governments, businesses and athletic teams tend to have a built in … Continued

Stock Market at Record Highs, What to Do?

Markets fluctuate. That is not new news and, as we have all seen, some of the fluctuations can be severe. With many of the popular averages at or near record highs, there may be a perception that stocks are fully valued, or even over valued. Maybe. Over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal, carried an … Continued

Is Dow 16,000 just a number?

A reporter called me as the Dow Jones Industrial Average approached a close above 16,000 on November 21, 2013. “What does it mean?” she asked. I told her the standard pat answer is that 16,000 is just a number. However, given the sheer horror that most investors felt in 2009 when the Dow bottomed at … Continued


Performance, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Both are very difficult to define and do not lend themselves to all inclusive metrics. Think about it. The market is up, your portfolio is up, how is it doing? Compared to what? The Dow Jones Industrials, the S&P 500, small caps, mid caps, EAFE, … Continued

Budget Deficits – Yours and Ours

Markets may again be reflecting concern over a renewal of the rancor and wrangling over budgets and debt limits in Washington, which suggests that investors should focus on the potential impact on portfolios. Budgeting is simple in theory but difficult in practice. Spending more than you are taking in, whether it results in a budget … Continued