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“Happiness Is a Warm Puppy”

Thank you Charles M. Schulz and Snoopy.  Anecdotally, it seems that a number of my neighbors have taken this advice as Covid-19 forces more of us to remain house-bound. On a more serious note, while it is well established that older people tend to be happier than they were when they were younger, a recent […]

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A November to Remember

There is no simple way to summarize or explain 2020’s equity markets.  By the end of the year the S&P 500 was up a very solid 18.4%, but that doesn’t begin to tell the story.  Equity markets started the year on the soft side.  Then came Covid-19 and stocks sold off sharply.  March alone saw […]

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Tulip Mania – A Reminder

According to Wikipedia, tulip mania was a period during the Dutch Golden Age when contract prices for some bulbs of the recently introduced and fashionable tulips reached extraordinarily high levels, and then dramatically collapsed in February 1637. In Europe, formal futures markets appeared in the Dutch Republic during the 17th century.  One of the most […]

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Common Stock and Common Sense

The concept of investing has taken a beating with an increasing misuse of the word.  For example, some marketers of expensive items, like new cars, describe the purchase as an investment when it is clearly consumption.  Except in a few, very rare instances, automobiles depreciate. Investopedia defines investment as a way to set aside money […]

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Big Pharma: Saviors or Profiteers

This is clearly a very complex and controversial issue.  It is equally clear that big pharma, with considerable help from government, both financial and regulatory, has created an exceptional response to the dangers of Covid-19.  Development and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines represent a constructive example of what can be achieved by public/private partnerships. The […]

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The Case for Negative-Yielding Debt

The idea that you can make a case for negative-yielding debt would seem to be counterintuitive at best and irrational at worst.  Never-the-less, there are some rational reasons for an investment decision that seems to defy logic. Perhaps the primary value of negative-yielding debt is safety.  The typical investor might conclude that a federally insured […]

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