Portfolio Liquidity and ETFs

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Martin Zweig posited that ETFs, often dirt-cheap to own, can still be costly to buy and sell.  Mr. Zweig cites a study by Antti Petajisto, a portfolio manager at LMR Partners, a London based hedge fund, who looked at about 1,800 ETFs from 2007 to 2014 and concluded … Continued


PAYGO (Pay As You Go) is a Federal budget rule requiring that new legislation, affecting revenues and spending on entitlement programs, taken as a whole, does not increase budget deficits.  That sounds constructive but, as we all know, the Federal budget continues to reflect deficit spending and the national debt continues to increase. Endless deficit … Continued

Understanding Quarterly Progress

Investors typically look at quarterly and annual reported operating results on a year-over-year basis.  In other words, what was the percentage change compared to the prior year period. It is important to also consider sequential change.  That is, what was the change compared to the previous quarter.  Obviously this is not particularly helpful in looking … Continued

Affordable Housing?

Trulia, an online residential real estate site for home buyers, sellers, renters and real estate professionals, has recently provided data suggesting that rising housing prices are putting America’s largest metropolitan areas out of reach for teachers and first responders.  Trulia’s study defines affordability as a household spending 31% of its monthly income on housing, assuming … Continued

“Dr. Livingstone, I Presume?”

David Livingston was a Scottish missionary and explorer of the Victorian era, now best remembered because of his meeting with Henry Morton Stanley which gave rise to this popular quotation. Having recently had the good fortune to spend two weeks in Southern Africa, South Africa and Zimbabwe, I can appreciate Dr. Livingstone’s lifelong fascination with … Continued

“Take This Job and Shove It”

This is the title of a 1977 country music song written by David Allan Coe and popularized by Johnny Paycheck. In January 2017, the number of people quitting their jobs rose to a seasonally-adjusted total of 3.22 million, the highest number since February 2001. The new high in job quitters comes following a number of … Continued

Penny Wise Pound Foolish

On Sunday evening, April 9, United Continental caused a passenger to be forcibly removed from a flight between Chicago O’Hare and Louisville, KY. By acting in what appears to have been in full adherence to the appropriate rules, United Continental may have saved some money and transported a flight crew to Louisville in order to … Continued


According to Wikipedia, compromise is to make a deal between different parties where each party gives up part of their demand. The statement “politics is the art of compromise” is a misquotation of a comment attributed to Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who actually said, “politics is the art of the possible, the attainable – the art … Continued

Wealth Effect?

It is clear that there have been significant increases in U.S. household wealth since the depths of the 2009 financial crisis, largely due to substantial increases in stock market and home valuations.  In the past, large gains in household wealth have stimulated higher levels of consumer spending.  This does not appear to be the case … Continued

Export-Import Bank

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is the official export credit agency of the U.S. federal government.  Operating as a government corporation, the bank finances and insures foreign purchases of U.S. goods for customers unwilling or unable to accept credit risk. The bank’s cost and effectiveness are controversial, and, like any policy … Continued

Climate Change and Investing

There really shouldn’t be any question that climate changes.  The real issues are; what is the rate and direction of change, what is causing it, what can or should be done about it and what makes economic sense? These are important questions.  Unfortunately, they would be difficult to answer under the best of circumstances, but … Continued

Measuring Change

In the financial markets, change tends to be measured in one of two ways, numerically, that is, the Dow Jones was up 100 points today, or, as a percentage, the Dow Jones was up approximately 0.5%.  While both methods of measurement say the same thing, under some circumstances they may not be immediately seen as … Continued