A New Age of Uncertainty

Donald J. Trump will take the oath of office Friday, January 20.  This fact is disorienting for many but viewed as promising by others. Trump’s election is part of the larger picture, that we live in a new age of uncertainty, suspended between an old order and a new one being formed. "Business as usual"

Emotion Trumps Rationality

As Ben Graham said, ‘In the short-run the market is a voting machine—reflecting a voter-registration test that requires only money, not intelligence or emotional stability—but in the long-run the market is a weighting machine.’ Warren Buffet - Letter to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders (1992) All the major U.S. Indexes surged to new highs last week.  It

Fallout from Britain’s vote

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) caught the world by surprise. Since the vote, stock market volatility has increased dramatically—a predictable result because stock markets don’t like uncertainty.  Similarly, interest rates have declined—just as dramatically—because investors seek the safe haven of U.S. Treasury bonds during uncertain times.  With lower rates at home, spillover

Inflation pinches some more than others

Few people understand the impact of inflation in their lives because it happens slowly.  When inflation is high, budgets get stretched. When wage growth is flat inflation sinks hopes.  Today, economic data suggests prices are rising very, very slowly.  Yet, surveys suggest that the average American’s daily experience with inflation may be quite different than

The Last Rodeo: This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co.

Speculation about Peyton Manning’s retirement from the NFL is this week’s inspiration.  We share a few thoughts on preparing for an early retirement. Live below your means.  One rule of thumb holds that you need to save 25 times your annual budget by retirement.  Generating a nest egg of that size involves years of frugality

This is not 2008

Losses in financial markets since the year’s start have engendered fears of a replay of the 2008 financial crisis.  Justin Lahart of The Wall Street Journal explains the crucial differences between then and now.  Paul Krugman of The New York Times dissects China’s problems and discusses the potential for psychological contagion.  Finally, Liz Ann Sonders

On the rate hike, 2016 outlook, and handling bad news

The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates.  More increases are expected in 2016.  Barron’s reports.  Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab says to expect uncertainty at the start of the coming year.  Despite a stated preference for good new, people often choose to read bad news headlines first.  Jim Parker of DFA warns investors of

A Client’s Story: Creating a financially secure path for future generations

A widow with an estate in excess of $3 million sought our assistance to organize and simplify her affairs. Her financial assets, spread among more than fifty individual stocks and concentrated in just a few, needed diversification to reduce risk. She was charitably inclined. We suggested she consider establishing a charitable remainder trust to defer