Happy New Year!

“Let us enter the New Year cheerfully.  Let us resolve to look on the bright side, to make the best of whatever may befall, to maintain faith that doing the right thing will ultimately bring victory.  Let us cultivate sunniness, resist sourness.  We can better wrestle with difficulties, obstacles, problems in a spirit of buoyancy … Continued

Oil, Inflation, Interest Rates, and Uncertainty

The recent and relatively precipitous decrease in the price of oil is likely to lead to a period of adjustment and uncertainty.  Markets typically have not liked uncertainty.  This suggests that investors are likely to be subjected to increased market volatility until there is greater visibility relating to the economic and geopolitical impact of the … Continued

Cuba and Investors

Cuba is essentially a dependent country, in that it has been unable to generate enough export income to fund a minimal level of imports. Over the last 50 years, Russia has been a major supporter and, more recently, Venezuela has helped, primarily with bargain oil. Both of these countries are facing increasing difficulties at home, … Continued

Falling Oil and Gas Prices

As of December 15th  the average price of a gallon of gas in Michigan had fallen to $2.43 and crude oil prices fell to less than $60 a barrel (over a 37% decline this year) for the first time since July 2009.  The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced last week that it … Continued

Fundamental Investment Truths: Part Three

This is the third and final chapter in our review of Morgan Housel’s “rules for investors.” “Things change quickly – and more drastically than many think.” Fourteen years ago, Enron was on Fortune magazine’s list of the world’s most admired companies, Apple was a struggling niche company, Greece’s economy was booming, and the Congressional Budget … Continued

Fundamental Investment Truths: Part Two

Here are some more of Morgan Housel’s “Rules for Investors”. “I don’t know are three of the most underused words in investing.” No one knows what the market will do next month.  No one knows when interest rates will rise or where the price of oil is headed.  Listening to people, who say they know, … Continued

Fundamental Investment Truths

The Wall Street Journal  recently published a commentary by Morgan Housel, a columnist at The Motley Fool, titled “Sweet 16: Rules for Investors”. His basic premise was that with U. S. stocks near all time highs, it might be a good time to review some fundamental, and often overlooked, investment truths.  Over the next few … Continued

Vehicle Demand is Booming, but is it Sustainable?

Over the last several years U. S. new vehicle sales have been gradually improving and, according to Reuters, November 2014 sales reached an annualized rate of 17.2 million, the best November since 2003.  This is in spite of a generally lackluster economy and concerns regarding consumer spending.  Not only was unit volume strong, but average … Continued

Financial Folly

Recent news reports indicate that an increasing number of home-owners, who are refinancing their mortgages, are seeking to not only reduce their interest rate, but access additional cash, either to pay down high interest rate credit-card debt or engage in additional spending.  Some lenders are currently advertising loan options that would allow certain borrowers to … Continued

Shop Until You Drop!

The day after Thanksgiving is referred to affectionately as “Black Friday.”  This term is used by the retail industry to indicate when companies in the sector become profitable (an old accounting practice was to show losses in red and profits in black on the ledgers).  Imagine that – it takes almost until the end of … Continued

Guaranteed Lifetime Income

This might be nearly everyone’s single most important financial objective.  But the historical sources or retirement security are under pressure, leaving you with more of the responsibility for your own long term financial security. The recently completed pension deal associated with the resolution of Detroit’s bankruptcy has shed a new light on the problem and … Continued