Let’s Hope

I hope on this day, the second inauguration of President Obama, that he and the republicans in Congress hold it in their hearts to compromise where needed to advance the cause of ALL Americans. Comments or questions welcomed. Bob Bilkie, CFA

2012 Was a Good Year for the Auto Industry

Industry sales of light vehicles increased 13.4% to 14.5 million units compared to 12.8 million in 2011. By any measure, this represented another year of strong recovery and was certainly a key factor in providing additional employment at both the OEM and supplier levels. Industry observers are expecting further gains in 2013. Rising sales also … Continued

Are You Supporting Your Employer?

If you work for Ford or GM and drive a Toyota, you are not supporting your employer. If you work for a municipality but live and shop in a different community, you are not supporting your employer. Fortunately, we live in a country with many freedoms. No one is going to force you to buy … Continued

How Do You Value a Painting like The Scream?

Edvar Munch’s The Scream achieved the highest price ever for a painting at auction this week when the bidding closed at nearly $120 million.  It is one of the most famous paintings in the world, featured on posters hanging in college dorm rooms around the world (I had one in mine) and featured in movies such as … Continued

Risks of ”Curbing Speculation”

President Obama announced today that his administration is interested in “curbing speculation” in the oil markets.  Is this a laudable goal?  We have to remember how speculation fits into the overall transactional marketplace.  Many businesses rely on speculators speculating to reduce their risk.  For example, a farmer has to commit to purchasing seeds, fertilizer, equipment … Continued

What is Compassion?

On the plane ride home from my recent spring training baseball trip, and while discussing the prospective presidential candidacy of Republican contender Mitt Romney, my baseball loving, left-leaning travel companion noted wryly, “I am concerned about his compassion.” As he said it, I recalled that just a few weeks earlier, another friend who is also … Continued

Baseball and Business

What do you get when you trap four middle-aged, baseball-loving friends (three liberals/progressives – a real estate lawyer from Michigan, a general practice lawyer from Washington DC, and a pediatrician from Chicago, and one conservative – that would be me, an investment advisor from Michigan) in a car for a several hours, traipsing across Florida … Continued

How It Really Is

President Obama has suggested it is time to raise income taxes for “millionaires and billionaires” but beyond the rhetoric, this applies to anyone earning over $200,000. The two “Warrens” (Buffet and Elizabeth) have also recently weighed in on the merit of an income tax increase and with this avalanche of support, it reminded me of … Continued