No, this is not about diversifying your portfolio.  Hopefully, you and your advisor(s) have already developed a strategy that suits your circumstances. This is a suggestion that you consider diversifying your sources of information.  A sound investment strategy probably incorporates a measure of belief in the future based on an informed understanding of relevant facts. … Continued

Understanding Short-Term Market Volatility

Recent market volatility has given rise to all kinds of commentary, by assorted market prognosticators who, encouraged by the media, attempt to attribute some degree of significance to very short-term market swings.  Investors would be well advised to retain a focus on longer term objectives.  Perhaps the most useful explanation for very short-term market swings, … Continued

How Much is a Barrel of Oil?

That depends on where the oil is.  Currently, Brent crude is trading at approximately $80/bbl.  U.S. benchmark crude futures, priced at Cushing, OK, are trading about $10/bbl. below Brent, and cash prices in the prolific Permian Basin are even lower.  However, the “prize?” goes to Canada, where Western Canada Select crude cash prices are currently … Continued

Net Metering

Net energy metering (NEM) is a special billing arrangement that provides credits for surplus energy to customers with solar photovoltaic systems, at the full retail value of the electricity their system generates.  Under NEM, the customer’s electric meter keeps track of how much electricity is consumed by the customer, and how much is excess electricity … Continued

Financial Folly/Unforced Errors

Developing and sustaining a sound, long-term personal financial strategy, in a world full of unexpected events, is difficult enough without incurring unforced errors.  Hopefully, most of us recognize that a financially successful retirement plan includes maintaining a consistent approach to spending, saving and investing. Unfortunately, too many of us succumb to unwise consumption behavior that … Continued

To Subsidize or Not To Subsidize, That is the Question

German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently said that subsidies designed to help Germans buy electric vehicles cannot go on forever. California will hold hearings on offering a $4,500 subsidy for each electric vehicle sold in the state, up from the current $2,500, even as customers from Tesla and GM face losing the loss of bigger federal … Continued

Recruiting in a Strong Economy

According to recent reports, for the first time since 2005, the U.S. Army missed its recruiting goal for the year, despite increasing its bonus pool by $200 million and approving additional waivers for bad conduct and health issues.  The Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, with much smaller requirements, all met their recruiting goals for … Continued