Rush to Judgment

Healthcare represents 1/6thof the total economy. It is a complex behemoth that cannot be changed overnight. Regardless, the early market analysis of the Supreme Court ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act creates winners and losers. Among the “winners” are the hospital companies, Medicare providers and diagnostic testing service providers. The “losers” include … Continued

”Oh No – Not Again!”

A family member came to me a few years ago and asked my advice on a mortgage. The loan had originally been established in 2005 so I was not sure what prompted the query as I assumed it must have been a 15 year or 30 year mortgage, and interest rates at that time had … Continued

Sigma Participates in ”Detroit Free Press” Live Chat

In light of the positive response we have received about our upcoming luncheon event on the lump sum distribution options offered by Ford and General Motors, we thought having additional information may also be of interest.  On Tuesday, June 19, Bob Bilkie CFA, President, and colleagues Marisa Lenhard, CFA, CFP® and Suzanne Antonelli, CFP® participated in a live … Continued

Where Did My Bank Go?

The June 18, 2012 Wall Street Journal has an article about the large number of small community banks putting themselves up for sale.  The primary issue, according to the article, is the high cost of regulation.  Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase Bank, noted in his senate testimony last week that his bank probably … Continued

A Countdown to the End of Countdowns

Financial network television producers love a countdown.  I hate to blame the recently deceased Dick Clark, but I sometimes wonder if CNBC and other financial networks favor producers who worked on his New Year’s Eve Times Square Countdowns.  Earlier this month, much of the news was focused on a “Countdown to the Facebook IPO” that … Continued

The Parable of the Talents

One of the earliest recorded economic experiments may be found in the scripture passage known as the Parable of the Three Talents (Mathew 25:14-30).  In it, Christ speaks of the master who entrusts his wealth (Talents) to his three main lieutenants while he goes on a journey.  When he returns, he compliments the two lieutenants … Continued

Domestic Consumption Driven Economy is the Key

After having been born and raised in China, I believe I have some unique observations regarding this sprawling economic juggernaut.  It is well known that China was a contributing factor in pulling the global economy out of its slump in 2009.  This year, China’s growth target is 7.5%, which was announced by Premier Wen Jiabao … Continued

Wenma Gorman, CFA joins Sigma Investment Counselors

We wanted to share this press release announcing the latest addition to our professional staff. Wenma Gorman, CFA recently joined Sigma as a Research Analyst. We are pleased that she accepted our offer to further her career here at Sigma and look forward to introducing her to you in person. _______________________________________________________________________________________ Sigma Investment Counselors builds … Continued

Economic Illiteracy is No Longer an Option

I received a call this week from a General Motors retiree in reference to the automaker’s decision to give its retirees a lump sum pension payment option versus their existing stream of benefits. He said to me, “I am an engineer with no knowledge of markets or economics. I would probably just leave things as … Continued

General Motors Also Offers Pension Buyouts

On top of the recent news of Ford Motor offering salaried employees lump-sum payments to buyout their defined benefit pensions, General Motors announced last week they will be offering pension buyouts for 42,000 salaried retirees. While the detailed numbers have yet to be released, many Ford and General Motors retirees will be looking at very … Continued

Another ”American Century” for Investors?

The 20th-century has been referred to as the “American Century”. At the end of the century, the United States (despite two world wars and the Great Depression) emerged as the world’s preeminent power, not only militarily but also economically. During the century, investors did quite well too. The 21st-century could be another period of significant … Continued