Sigma Signals

Week of June 17, 2024 There are many parallels to fathering and investing. Both require patience, persistence, discipline and periodic course corrections (when desired outcomes are not achieved). Happy Father’s Day to all fathers. Our Signals remain unchanged. Bob Bilkie, CFA


In many parts of the world, the birthrate has consistently exceeded the local economy’s ability to absorb the population increase.  This typically results in lower standards of living and the potential for attempts at military solutions.  In some other parts of the world, the birthrate has been too low to sustain the regional economy and can, … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of June 10, 2024 The meme stock chicanery of the Covid years appears to be back in full swing again with GameStop and “Roaring Kitty” in the news.  Recent articles in the financial press speak to the action by the message board mongrels as fun and exciting.  Investing and protecting wealth is a serious … Continued

Supply, Demand and Inflation

The law of supply and demand combines two fundamental economic principles describing how changes in the price of a resource, commodity, or product affect supply and demand.  As the price increases, supply rises while demand declines. Conversely, as the price drops supply constricts while demand grows. While market forces are likely to allow supply and … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of June 3, 2024 The Biden Administration announced a proposed set of tariffs on imported goods from China.  In particular, Chinese electric vehicles will have a 102.5% tariff rate on the value of the car.  Tariffs are imposed to protect domestic industries (i.e., the US Auto industry) from losing sales to foreign competitors that … Continued

Autonomous Vehicles – Update

Most of the world’s vehicle manufacturers and a number of current and future suppliers continue to pursue the development of autonomous vehicles.  On August 24, 2016 we posted a blog, “Autonomous Vehicles,” that summarized progress and outlined the classification system for defining the differences between levels of automation.  Much has transpired in the last eight … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of May 28, 2024 “It’s not bragging if it’s true”, so said American author, Sara Shephard.  Nvidia can lay claim to said merit with continuing explosive sales and earnings growth as reported last week.  In fact, the heady results likely reversed a short-lived stock market decline when reported as the Standard & Poor’s 500 … Continued


Seeking increased revenue appears to be a chronic preoccupation among our elected officials.  However, with December 31, 2025 expiration of major pieces of former President Trump’s 2017 tax law, we can expect increases in commentary and new heights of obfuscation.  While it is impossible to handicap the eventual outcome, investors should prepare for some targeted … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of May 20, 2024 When the news cycle is devoid of meaningful developments and capital markets are moving sideways, nervous energy can creep into the psyche. Nicholas Murray Butler, President of Columbia University in the 1930’s, opined that “Nervous energy is the greatest destroyer of portfolio wealth.” Caveat emptor. Our Signals remained unchanged this … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of May 13, 2024 On April 19, the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index hit a monthly low of $4,967. As of May 10, it sits at $5,223, a gain of 5%.  What changed in three weeks to precipitate this rather heady, short-term advance?  Nothing.  Purely a psychological shift, a normal factor in free … Continued

Negative Cash Flow Assets

For most of us, the most significant negative cash flow asset in our portfolio is our residence.  Yes, if you own your home, you may benefit from the long-term trend of rising real estate prices, and, you have the essential benefit of shelter.  However, home ownership comes with a long list of expenses, including insurance, … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of May 6, 2024 May 4, 2024 was the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting.  Chairman Warren Buffett intoned many years ago that “In the short term, the market is a popularity contest; in the long term, it’s a weighing machine.”  His late Vice-Chair, Charlie Munger, preached patience.  Of course, for investors, patience means having … Continued