Crowd Trading

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Crowd trading is an extension of the concept behind crowd funding, which is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.  In crowd trading, a large number of people are encouraged to take a small position in a single … Continued

Apple and the Averages

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Apple’s recently announced a 4 for 1 stock split will present some issues for the Dow Jones Industrial Averages (DJIA) but not the S&P 500. The DJIA is weighted by the market price of the underlying 30 component companies. Currently, Apple accounts for about 10% of the DJIA.  After the split, this will be reduced … Continued

Is the 401(k) Obsolete?

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That seems to be the view of Aaron Brown, writing for Bloomberg News, in an article titled “401(k) Plans No Longer Make Much Sense for Savers”.  Susan Tompor, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press disagrees and has written an exceptional rebuttal titled, “Does a 401(k) plan still make sense for you? It might, or … Continued

What is the Secure Act?

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The Secure Act is piece of retirement legislation that was making headlines the past several months as it navigated through Congress. The House of Representatives passed the proposal back in May of 2019 and it was recently approved by the Senate in the middle of December. The Secure Act imposes a spectrum of changes primarily … Continued

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

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

Markets Work

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For the last several years, there has been an increase in the political rhetoric relative to wages, and more specifically, the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, which was last changed in 2008.  However, there has been some movement by state and municipal governments to establish local minimum wage rates at levels well above … Continued

Taking the Plunge

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A February 4, 2019 article in the Wall Street Journal titled How to Invest When Markets Are Down noted that “If you have a lump sum to in­vest, rather than a small amount each month, you may be bet­ter off in­vest­ing it all at once, mainly be­cause keep­ing it on the side­lines in cash while … Continued

“How American Fracking Changes the World”

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This is the title of a recent Wall Street Journal article written by Walter Russell Mead.  It is not practical to attempt to summarize Mr. Mead’s comments, but the underlying theme of his position is, “low energy prices enhance U.S. power at the expense of Moscow and Tehran”. We have previously looked at the potential … Continued

Bait-and-Switch

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In retail sales, as defined by Wikipedia, first, customers are “baited” by merchants advertising products or services at a low price, but when customers visit the store, they discover that the advertised goods are either not available or are not as good as expected, or the customers are pressured by sales people to consider similar, … Continued

Is the U.S. Facing a Jobs Crisis?

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Recently reported employment data suggests that there are now as many unfilled job openings (6.55 million), as there are unemployed Americans (6.59 million).  This is the narrowest gap, between available jobs and those seeking jobs, in nearly 20 years of record keeping.  At the same time, workforce participation rates remain near record lows. This is … Continued