• Current Events

    Trump Trade War

    These last few weeks have been a roller coaster, no matter who you voted for. You may be surprised to know that the DOW doesn’t reflect this. On Monday and Tuesday November 7 and 8, when polls were showing Clinton was going to be elected President, the DOW was up over 400 points. On Wednesday, once we knew it would be Trump who was going to be the next President, the DOW was still up over 400 points. The lesson, in my opinion, is that the economy has significant inertia and momentum. Whether the election of Trump will be positive or negative for the economy, we will only know months…

  • Current Events,  Mile High View

    The History of Crowdfunding

    In 1958, Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith published The Affluent Society, in which he outlined his belief that the US had reached the pinnacle of affluence – that American standards of living had risen as high as they ever would. Most families owned a car, their own 1,100 ft2 (on average) home, and even had refrigerators and telephones in those homes. This, Galbraith said, was as high as affluence in the US would rise. But we know that his assumption was wrong. Look at where we are today – smartphones and PCs and bigger houses and 3-car families, all concepts that Galbraith couldn’t predict. Society did not stagnate in the…

  • Current Events

    Brexit

    The news that overhangs the markets is Brexit – the UK voted to leave the European Union. While I believe that this was a very short-sighted decision, I also believe that the Brexit decision has a historical impetus going back several centuries along with more recent history. During the late 1600s and early 1700s, France and England were in three major and several minor wars. Both England and France financed their wars with borrowings. Initially, they borrowed at 5%, but found it quickly grew to 10%, causing a Great Recession in both countries. France tackled the recession with stimulus and England with austerity. Here we see the first big rift…

  • 401ks,  Current Events

    What’s A Fiduciary?

    Recently, British comedian John Oliver’s show Last Week Tonight put out a flooring (and very entertaining) look at the retirement industry. I spent Monday morning watching it after Sara shared it, and between nodding along with his points and laughing so hard I choked I decided that I needed to share it. You can watch the video included, and I encourage it, but I also wanted to highlight some of the most important points. First, Oliver asks what is a financial advisor? He answers actually, and technically – nothing. That title, along with financial analyst, financial consultant, investment consultant, or wealth manager does not actually indicate credentials. The only valid…

  • Current Events,  Mile High View

    The Market Is Flat

    There has been no new market high since May 21st, 2015. That’s a reality that has some investors panicking; some are even dubbing this the “Twilight Zone” (do do do do). And yet – and yet, if we ignore the preemptive panic, we can see that for all the threat a flat market can present, there’s good news. If we look at global stocks, we find that as of the end of May they were off by 8%. Commodities have lost 22.8%. European bank stocks are back to 2008 Lehman Brothers lows; Japanese bank stocks are down 30% and Chinese bank stocks down 40%. Oil is down 60% and gold…

  • Current Events,  Mile High View

    Oil and Commodities Drop

    2016 has been off to a rough start – in fact it is the worst start in history – and for many, 2016 is stirring up memories of 2008. I believe that this fear is unfounded and stemming from misinterpreting the oil and commodities drop. They are symptoms, I believe, of overproduction that stemmed from futures contracts made in the 1990s and 2000s, and the resulting credit bubble burst. Despite this, I still believe that we are in a super cycle, and as with previous super cycles, there will be some winners and some losers. We wouldn’t be in a super cycle if everything was going smoothly. Where oil and…

  • Current Events

    What’s Food Got To Do With it?

    TV and newspapers talk about the “consumer returning.” Where did the consumer go? Nowhere. They never left. In 2009, 70 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was made up of personal expenditures. Which means, $7 out of every $10 spent in the United States went towards one of four different sectors: Domestically Produced Goods, such as groceries, internet, and washing machines; Imported Goods, meaning anything that read “Made in China,” “Made in Taiwan,” or “Made in wherever it might be;” Imputed Goods, a catch-all category consisting of rent and property purchases; and Healthcare. While the consumer hasn’t disappeared, they are making significant changes in their purchasing habits. Programmed purchasing,…

  • Current Events,  Mile High View

    What Does Disruptive Technology Mean For an Investor?

    Disruptive technology shakes up the norm. It unexpectedly displaces an established technology and forces the standard man outside of his comfort zone. Often arising during financial crises, disruptive technology sprouts new inventions and increases efficiency. Often in the midst of this chaos wild predictions are made about the future. On March 22, 1876, the New York Times made this prediction: “Thus the telephone, by bringing music and ministers into every home, will empty the concert-halls and the churches.” For an investor, disruptive technology has the following important implications – big opportunities and accompanied with the need for intelligent deduction. The catch is, traditional Blue Chip companies usually make incremental changes rather…

  • Current Events

    What Do You Control?

    Negotiations on the debt ceiling have come to a close. The average guy or gal’s views of how each party handled their side vary wildly. However, regardless of your stance on how the debt ceiling should be handled, chances are you have no input. Most likely, the politicians in Washington aren’t calling you for advice. Does this mean you have no affect on today’s economy? No. By concentrating on what is in your control, you can affect change. You control your financial portfolio, advisors, and spending habits. When your choices reflect what you support, you utilize your influence on the economy. For instance, do you support an increase in local…

  • Current Events

    The New Currency

    The U.S. dollar hasn’t always been the U.S dollar. For most of America’s toddler years, states, towns, and, sometimes, individual banks printed their own currency. Even with when the Coinage Act of 1792 was passed by Congress, it did not create a unified paper currency. However, a national currency was created when Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon Chase, was asked to find finances for the Civil War. He established a national banking system and created the “greenbacks.” These greenbacks (first printed in 1861) formed the basis for today’s paper currency. In recent years we’ve experienced an economic downturn, causing businesses to find creative ways to cut costs and cover…