Higher Education as an Investment

By now we are all generally aware that the cost of a four year college degree continues to increase and student loans are a growing problem.  There may also be some greater recognition that an undergraduate college degree is not an automatic ticket to an above average income. College represents a significant investment of time … Continued

Tax Loss Harvesting – Taking Advantage of Volatility

Tax loss harvesting is the portfolio management practice of selling a security that has experienced a loss in order to capture tax savings.  Realized capital losses can be used to offset future realized capital gains. Any realized losses that are not utilized in any one year can be “carried forward” indefinitely.  Further, investors who don’t … Continued

Government Economic Data?

Any attempt by investors to strategize based on government data should consider that virtually all announced monthly statistics are subject to almost endless revisions, some of which may be substantial.  It is also clear that the media will precede actual announcements with a seemingly endless and widely diverse array of projections, followed by a minute … Continued


Wikipedia defines scalability as the capability of a system, network or process to handle a growing amount of work, or its potential to be enlarged in order to accommodate that growth. This is an important concept for investors.  In a business setting, scalability defines a system whose performance improves after additional investment proportionally to the … Continued

The Minimum Wage Dilemma

The issue of raising the minimum wage has always been controversial and with the run up to the November 2016 elections, the rhetoric has become more pervasive and heated.  This is an important issue for investors and, to a lesser extent, consumers. It seems that the pros and cons of the matter can be summarized as … Continued

Fed Watching

It appears that, after reviewing the latest comments from the Fed, the majority of prognosticators continue to believe that the Fed is likely to modestly increase interest rates at the September meeting.  Apparently these expectations come despite some real questions as to whether economic conditions actually warrant higher interest rates.  Consider: Inflation appears to be running … Continued

There Is No Substitute for Thinking!

From the August 26, 2015 Wall Street Journal article titled “Trading Tumult Exposes Flaws In Modern Markets.” “Lans­ing, Mich. based fi­nan­cial adviser Theodore Feight had set up an au­to­matic sale for iShares Core U.S. Value ETF MMIUSVMM if it were to fall a cer­tain amount. The ETF tumbled 34% in early trad­ing, and in­stead of … Continued

The Iran Nuclear Deal and Investors

It is becoming apparent that the administration’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran is likely to go forward.  While there is considerable uncertainty and reluctance in Congress, at the end of the day, there do not appear to be enough votes to halt the process. For investors, the key issue is uncertainty.  Not uncertainty as to … Continued

To Bundle or Not to Bundle

The question of bundled or unbundled products or services is becoming an increasingly important issue across a wide range of industries. Bundling is buying a total package that includes a fairly substantial menu of services, compared to unbundled, in which you buy just the specific product or service that interests you.  In the world of … Continued

China Devalues its Currency. Good or Bad?

After an unexpected report of a year over year drop in Chinese exports of -8.5%, the Chinese government, literally overnight, devalued its currency, by just under 2%.  Translation: The Chinese government reduced the value of its currency, which makes the price of the goods it produces cheaper/more attractive to foreign buyers.  For example, a Chinese product that … Continued

“The Business of America is Business”

The title of this blog is a quote from a January 17, 1924 speech by then President, Calvin Coolidge.  According to Wikipedia, the ultimate assessment of his presidency is still divided between those who approved of his reduction in the size of government programs and those who believe the federal government should be more involved … Continued