Richard Breslow, writing for Bloomberg, tells readers that asset bubbles no longer work as a cure for growth. In fact, it's time for central bankers to admit that what they're doing isn't working. He writes: If there was one message that resonated from the IMF meetings, it was that what we are doing isn’t working. Acknowledging that fact is every bit as important as the forecasts of dour prospects for global growth and the risks of excess leverage. You have to start somewhere. Or maybe we should think of it as, you have to stop at some point. It’s an understandable human tendency for … [Read more...]
Archives for October 2019
The Fall of the Facebook Brand?
Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg have been enduring heightened scrutiny ever since the Cambridge Analytica scandal exposed the social media network's failures to protect user privacy. Since then, a cascade of bad news has hit the company, and according to a new ranking by Interbrand, that may be affecting its brand value. The Wall Street Journal's Nat Ives writes: Facebook fell out of the top 10 in Interbrand’s annual Best Global Brands report, dropping to 14th place from ninth as the estimated value of its brand declined 12% to $39.9 billion. Interbrand, part of Omnicom … [Read more...]
Here’s Why Warren’s Wealth Tax Won’t Work
Elizabeth Warren has a plan to pay for all her plans; take wealthy Americans' money. The problem is, other countries have tried just that, and it didn't work. The rich and ultra-rich can move anywhere in the world and hide their wealth there. That's exactly what they have done in other countries that tried to pin them down and take their wealth. Not to mention how difficult wealth taxes are for family farmers, whose wealth is tied up in their land. They are forced to sell parcels each year in order to fund the taxation. Pretty soon, there's no farm left! And certainly no wealth. At … [Read more...]
Do You Have the Tools to Carry Out Your Investment Plan?
I regularly meet investors who are going it alone. They are overwhelmed with choices and have little or no investment planning experience. Back in December of 1986, I told investors that they need a game plan and the tools to carry it out. I wrote: “’It was an overcast day.’…Everything on the beach came to a halt…When he passed out 40 Redsand volleyballs,…’it looked like it had rained radioactive bowling balls.’” These graphic quotes from Bruce Anderson’s recent “Shoptalk” column in Sports Illustrated describe the beach scene at Manhattan Beach, California when Olympic volleyball star … [Read more...]
Your Retirement Life: Thank You EJ from Kodiak, Alaska (Part II)
You may have read about my client Dr. Lee earlier this week, how we’ve been working together for 16 years, and the story behind the homemade “Thank You EJ” sign in the picture. I want you to read his response to my post and share it with everyone whose financial security you care about. Part of my effort on your behalf is to help you avoid inertia, get into the compounding game, and always be prepared for the worst. Always think about your risks first and realize the success you and your family deserve. It’s that simple. Here's what he wrote: Well said. Hope people listen. It’s not … [Read more...]
The Worst Chinese Economy in 30 Years
Economic growth has slowed down in China, with the country record only a 6% increase in GDP last quarter. That would be magnificent growth in a developed nation, but for China, that's the slowest growth in 30 years. The FT reports: China’s economy grew at 6 per cent in the third quarter of 2019 compared with a year earlier, its slowest pace in about 30 years, delivering another blow to global growth and underlining many of the challenges facing President Xi Jinping. The country’s trade war with the US, slowing income growth and cooling manufacturing investment took a toll on the world’s … [Read more...]
Boston Pulls $248 Million from Fisher Investments
The city of Boston's pension board will join Philadelphia and the state of Michigan in divesting from Fisher Investments reports Bloomberg's Janet Lorin, writing: “Boston will not invest in companies led by people who treat women like commodities,” Mayor Martin Walsh said in a statement Wednesday. “Reports of Ken Fisher’s comments and poor judgment are incredibly disturbing.” The city’s pension board will pull $248 million. Fisher Investments is seeing a growing backlash since the firm’s founder made offensive comments about women, spoke of genitalia and then failed to immediately … [Read more...]
Can Boris’ Brexit Deal Pass?
With the announcement of a Brexit deal agreed to between Boris Johnson and the EU, the only question left is, can the deal make it through the House of Commons? Johnson's coalition partner, the Democratic Unionist Party, has said it will not back the deal, which means it will have a very hard time passing the House. James Blitz reports in the FT: James Forsyth in The Spectator has a good assessment of where the problem lies. He says Mark Spencer, the Conservative chief whip, calculated last night that if the DUP backs Mr Johnson, the government will win on Saturday with a majority of just … [Read more...]
Doing Business with Fidelity (Not Schwab)
Yesterday Schwab reported third-quarter earnings. During the three months ending Sep. 30, the e-broker made 70 cents a share up from 64 cents a year earlier while revenue increased $132 million to $2.71 billion. Guess where the money was made? “For Schwab, net interest revenue made up 60% of overall revenue during the September quarter,” reports the WSJ. Do you know what net interest revenue is? It’s when Schwab lends your cash out, keeping the profit for itself. “Schwab and other e-brokers make a significant portion of their profits by sweeping cash daily from customers’ brokerage … [Read more...]
Are Low Interest Rates Amplifying Market Shocks?
New research from the IMF suggests that forcing investors to search for yield in riskier assets by targeting extremely low-interest rates is amplifying shocks in markets. Chris Giles reports for the Financial Times: Persistently low interest rates are encouraging investors to take dangerous risks in a quest to maintain their financial returns, the IMF said on Wednesday, raising concerns that even the current lacklustre performance of the global economy may not be sustainable. Policymakers should urgently seek to extend banking regulations introduced after the financial crisis to other … [Read more...]