“Somewhere West of Laramie”

So began a 1923 magazine advertisement that became legendary.  The ad was developed to sell a car, the Jordan “Playboy”.  Previously, car ads concentrated on practicalities, such as engine size, the number of forward gears and special features.  “Somewhere West of Laramie” changed all that, to highlight the automobile as a path to adventure, as … Continued

Corporate Governance/Shareholders’ Rights

According to Wikipedia, corporate governance broadly refers to the mechanisms, processes and relations by which corporations are controlled and directed.  Governance structures are intended to identify the distribution of rights and responsibilities among different stakeholders, including; boards of directors, management, employees, shareholders, creditors, auditors, regulators and others. Interest in the corporate governance practices of modern … Continued

The Financial Pitfalls of Living “Large”

It’s not a news flash that saving money is hard, really hard.  There is plenty of advice around with a wide variety of suggestions.  Anything you do to cut back can help.  However, the biggest opportunity may lie with your biggest, overall, long term expense, your residence. Some things to consider.  How much home do … Continued

Regulations and Speed Limits

Over the last several months there has been a lot of discussion regarding regulation.  Much of the discussion has tended to focus on regulation as an instrument to further controversial policies.  It is important to recognize that regulation is not inherently bad.  Society needs constructive regulation in order to function and provide all parties with … Continued

California Water Conditions Update

California is seeing a marked improvement in the availability of water supplies, which has led several water agencies, including San Diego and Orange counties, to declare an end to drought conditions. The gains are significant.  The early February survey, conducted by the California Department of Water Resources, indicated that the statewide snow pack stood at … Continued

Nuggets from The Oracle of Omaha

Warren Buffett sent his letter to shareholders over the weekend.  While there are so many factors that make him possibly the greatest investor, his ability to communicate with the masses has to be near the top of the list.  While not everyone wants to read the entire 28 page letter (although I would recommend it), … Continued

Oil Prices, Rig Counts and Day Rates

The price of oil has proven to be remarkably difficult to predict.  While the long term outlook is likely to reflect supply and demand, near-term fluctuations have been prone to sharp, often inexplicable price changes. For at least fifty years, conventional wisdom was focused on the eventual depletion of all known reserves and an ensuing … Continued

“Those Who Fail To Learn From History Are Doomed To Repeat It”

This quote, attributed to George Santayana, can be applicable to a wide range of human experiences and endeavors.  While it is impossible to list all of them, recent press coverage of China’s air pollution problems represents an interesting example. China’s pollution crisis has been attributed to decades of unrestrained industrialization.  While improving the economic outlook … Continued

Brexit, Exit Update

With the resolution of the appropriate, legal path for the implementation of Brexit, the British House of Commons began debating the issue on January 31.  It is currently expected that a final bill will be approved by early March, after which, negotiations with the European Union (EU) can commence.  This process may take some time. … Continued

Dow 100,000

Unless the U.S. economy enters into an extended period of negative growth, Dow 100,000 is not a question of whether, but rather, when. The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 100 in January 1906, 1,000 in November 1972 and 10,000 in March of 1999.  In mathematical terms, growth can be arithmetic, where gains are linear, or … Continued

A Super, Super Bowl

The just played Super Bowl may well have been the most exciting in the games 51 year history. The biggest comeback in history! First Super Bowl to go into overtime! Hopefully, the last word on Inflategate. The game also has a useful lesson for investors.  Don’t forget what got you there.  When markets are going against … Continued

“What, Me Worry?”

First, thanks to Alfred E. Newman and Mad magazine. The conventional wisdom among economists has generally held that people don’t like uncertainty and the unknowable.  When faced with the prospect of disruption and changes without clear outcomes, they become less confident and more cautious about making big decisions, particularly as they relate to finances. Over … Continued