Diversify!

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Matt Krantz, in an article recently published in the Investor’s Business Daily, pointed out that six companies that commanded market values of more than $1 billion at the start of the decade (12/31/2009), were now penny stocks. Without attempting to analyze the underlying fundamentals of each of the companies in question, (J.C. Penney, Frontier Communications, … Continued

The Next Recession?

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One of the few things that investors can absolutely count on is that there will be a next recession.  Currently, recession talk has completely taken over the discussion on Wall Street and CNBC.  Economists and other prognosticators seem to be constantly competing with each other to be the first to predict the next downturn in … Continued

Does The U.S. Have A Labor Shortage?

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Near record unemployment rates and an increase in help wanted signs would suggest that there is a labor shortage.  If this is the case, we should be seeing the signs of a tight labor market, with wage growth and inflationary pressures.  Surprisingly, wage growth has been modest and inflation has been relatively benign. What is … Continued

Survival of the Fittest (Cheapest?)

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According to Wikipedia, survival of the fittest is a phrase that originated from Darwin’s evolutionary theory as a way of describing the mechanism of natural selection. In the corporate world, perhaps an appropriate corollary would be, survival of the lowest costs, and the probable fate of high cost producers as an industry develops excess capacity. … Continued

Clean Air is Complicated

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Reuters recently reported that India’s coal-fired power generation capacity is expected to rise by 22.4% in three years, based on comments by India’s federal power ministry’s chief engineer. India, the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, saw annual coal demand increase 9.1%, to nearly 1 billion tonnes, in the year ended March 2019.  Coal demand … Continued

English: The World’s Second Language

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Purely on the basis of anecdotal, personal experience, it appears that English is increasingly becoming the world’s second language.  As of 2019, there are 55 sovereign states and 27 non-sovereign entities where English is the official language.  More important to business and leisure travelers, even in countries where English has no official status, there seems … Continued

The Nifty 50

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According to Investopedia, the Nifty 50 was a group of stocks that were most favored by institutional investors in the 1960s and 1970s.  Companies in this group were usually characterized by consistent earnings growth and high P/E ratios. Recently, The Wall Street Journal published an article that started with the statement, “a rally in stocks … Continued

The Brexit Drama Continues Under New Management

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We have previously commented on the status and complexity of Great Britain’s struggles with Brexit, most recently on April 30, 2019 (Understanding Brexit). Boris Johnson has won the race to lead the ruling Conservative Party and become Britain’s prime minister, succeeding Mrs. May.  He inherits the difficulties and conflicts of the country’s decision to leave … Continued

Universal Basic Income for America?

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We have previously commented on proposals by economists and political scientists that would substitute universal income policies as credible alternatives to existing social programs such as unemployment insurance. (See blogs dated 2015-12-17, 2016-11-22, 2018-05-02 and 2019-02-21). The idea is straight forward: Provide citizens with a minimum allowance, without means-testing, that would give everyone the wherewithal … Continued

Predictability, Still Important

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On February 28, 2013 we posted a blog titled, “The importance of predictability or, just tell us what the rules are.” The themes discussed in that blog remain just as relevant today, despite changes in Congress and the White House. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of being able to plan ahead. Investors in … Continued

Coin of the Realm – Update

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On Feb 16, 2018 we posted a blog titled, “Coin of the Realm”, in which we suggested that legal tender is what the government says it is and governments don’t like competition. Recently, Facebook announced plans to introduce Libra, a permissioned blockchain digital currency.  The project, currency and transactions are to be managed and entrusted … Continued

Interest Rate Paranoia

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It seems that the financial media is currently consumed with short-term interest rates, persistently and continuously over-analyzing the prospects for even the smallest shift in Federal Reserve Board (FRB) thinking. This is not useful.  Investors are likely to be best served by developing, and then sustaining, a long-term investment strategy that suits their specific circumstances. … Continued