Clients of mine shared these pictures from their recent, once-in-a-lifetime trip. Originally posted on Your Survival Guy. … [Read more...]
Archives for May 2019
This is What Can Happen when Momentum Crashes
Stamps.com was a major winner during the momentum-fueled market that has dominated since 2013. The stock was among the 20 best performers in the Russell 3000 Index (top 3,000 U.S. companies ranked by market capitalization) when it hit an all-time high in June of last year. Today, shareholders are likely weeping. The stock is indicated to open at $44.50—a 50% haircut from yesterday and a portfolio-decimating 84% below its high of last year. Turns out Stamps.com's business was pretty reliant on some exclusive contracts with the U.S. Postal Service that were terminated earlier this year. We … [Read more...]
Your Retirement Life: Choosing Where to Retire: Part III
Some states seem intent on pushing the wealthiest, most productive residents out with bad policies. Lately, Connecticut seems to be the most enthusiastic about encouraging its wealthiest citizens to leave, though Illinois, New York and California don't fall far behind. Now, in an effort to speed further ahead of the high-taxing competition, Connecticut is once again targeting its most productive residents. The Wall Street Journal reports: Connecticut is a gift that keeps on giving to low-tax states. Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont earlier this year pitched a suite of tax increases on everything … [Read more...]
Land’s End and Sears Go Separate Ways
With different customers and different plans going forward, Sears and Lands' End are parting ways. The companies had maintained a symbiotic relationship with stores-within-stores at 40 locations, down from 174 last year, but will now separate all remaining Lands' End stores from their parent Sears locations. The Chicago Tribune reports: Lands’ End is back at Oakbrook Center mall — this time, outside the shadow of Sears. The Dodgeville, Wis.-based casual clothing retailer had a shop inside the Sears, its former parent company, on the mall’s northwest side before the Sears temporarily shut … [Read more...]
How Far will the Fed Push Markets to Get 2% Inflation?
The latest parlor game in economics has become guessing how far the Fed will go reach its goal of 2% inflation. Is it worth upending the entire economy and markets to simply boost inflation by a couple dozen basis points? One would imagine that monkeying around with the foundation of a $19 trillion economy in order to boost the reading on a somewhat unreliable measure of price inflation would be a bad way to set policy. That hasn't seemed to occur to many of the PhDs at the Federal Reserve though. Bloomberg's Craig Torres reports on the Fed's decision making: Economists expect the Fed … [Read more...]
The One Chart Everyone Will Wish They’ve Seen
Last year, when stocks lost money, bonds were up. It’s the magic of counterbalancing. As you can see in the chart below. In 14 of the 15 years that the S&P 500 has been down since 1950, intermediate term government bonds advanced. That’s a .933 batting average. And in the only exception year, in the 60s, the bonds were down a scant 0.74%. In this record stock market this is a chart you may want to share with your friends and family. Originally posted on Your Survival Guy. … [Read more...]
The Only Useful Purpose of a Central Bank
From its origins as a lender of last resort to prevent unnecessary banking panics, the Fed has morphed into a beast of an institution, with far too much influence over the economy, financial markets, and the distribution of wealth. Look no further than the Trump administration's recent focus on the Fed’s interest rate policy. The Fed was setup to be an independent institution to keep it above the fray of politics. But with ever expanding influence and power, it is inevitable that the Fed will always be lobbied to accommodate the political class. The problem with the Fed is not that the … [Read more...]
Your Retirement Life: Parents, do You have an Investment Plan?
If you’re a parent, don’t be upset with me for asking: Do you have an investment plan? Because I get it. You’re busy. Between dealing with homework, sports and summer, there’s not much time. But there needs to be. When you find yourself doing the math to remember how old you are, you might be at a point where some financial housekeeping is in order. Time slips away, fast. And it would be a terrible thing to waste when you can make some solid moves today to put your retirement on solid ground. For example, when you’re younger and still reading to your children before bedtime, you’re … [Read more...]
IBM and Project Owl Preparing Tech for the Apocalypse
How useful are your cellphones and devices if the grid goes down, taking the internet and cellular networks with it? About as useful as a paper weight. IBM and Project Owl are looking to change that. First responders and victims of disasters like floods and hurricanes are the people most in need of rapid communication. They need to coordinate rescue operations, and a communication can save lives. To fulfill a request IBM made for technology that could accomplish this, Project Owl has created little Wi-fi devices known as DuckLinks. Bloomberg reports on what these devices do: The five … [Read more...]
Which One of These Tech Companies Will Survive?
Big tech companies are under fire from many sides. Uproars over privacy fears, sluggish earnings, and regulation imminent, Silicon Valley is looking for a way forward. These tech companies have been trying to diversify their income streams in order to stay alive. The question is, can they succeed? So far it hasn't gone well. Jason Dean reports for The Wall Street Journal: Google, Facebook Inc. FB -0.79% and other tech giants have long tinkered with ways to grow outside the core businesses they dominate. Now those efforts are becoming urgent. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, beset … [Read more...]
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