Hurricanes and the stock market – duh, it’s October

| October 12, 2018

Q: Why am I not surprised to see U.S. stocks extend Wednesday’s ugly losses with more selling on Thursday? A: Because it is October! Well because the talking heads that “I listen to” point out just how strong our economy is and that corporate earnings are strong, consumer confidence high and the regulation and tax […]

Fuel prices higher this year and Hurricane Michael nears

| October 10, 2018

EDIT: Updated 14:00-14:30 ET – Landfall Mexico Beach, FL with maximum sustained winds clocked at 145 mph Previous 11:28 a.m. ET update Hurricane Michael has been upgraded to a “potentially catastrophic” Category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph, the National Hurricane Center says. Data collected by NOAA and U.S. Air Force Hurricane […]

DJIA, S&P 500, Nasdaq closing strong and political pontificating

| September 20, 2018

If the stock market is worried about another round of China tariffs, it sure doesn’t show it. Thursday saw the DJIA back to its record high from earlier this year. The S&P 500 did the same and even the Nasdaq was positive although off the higher record area earlier this year … but not by […]

Predicting the end of the bull market and how to prepare

| July 8, 2018

As the current bull stock market gets long in the tooth (average is 7 years, we’re now closing in on 9 years), financial analysts are beginning to write regularly about preparing for the next slowdown. Few are declaring it over at this moment, but most advise prudence as it comes to what investments are being […]

Filled up Jerry Cans and my BMW X5 35d with diesel (25 gal max)

| June 24, 2018

Since I drive a diesel BMW X5 35d as well as an old 1982 Mercedes 300D Turbodiesel, and use diesel fuel in our Kubota and John Deere lawn tractors (not to mention sailboat) … seeing pump prices 20 to 40 cents higher at the pump is starting to cut into my theory of saving money […]

How much longer can sustained economic growth continue?

| April 17, 2018

Have you filed your income tax return yet? 2017 returns are due today! While catching up on some reading while out of town this week, Jim Glassman, Head Economist at JPMorgan Chase, had me pondering (and tweeting) about the length of sustained growth that might be possible after the recession. He, and many others, have […]

Oil drops to $59/bbl. Will it change the inflation forecast?

| February 9, 2018

With the rapid drop in oil prices, and equal "10% correction" in the overall stock market, will improving wages offset by falling commodities (oil) cause the Federal Reserve rethink their concern that inflation is picking up? Current thoughts were that we could see three quarter point rate hikes in 2018 if the economy continues to […]

Huge stock market sell-off. The economy is strong. Time to buy?

| February 2, 2018

I played the “high risk, high reward” game on Friday while watching most if not all stocks collapsed over rising interest rate concerns. It looks more likely that the Federal Reserve may have to be more aggressive in raising rates in order to control inflationary pressures after the jobs report. Unemployment is low, the economy […]

Explaining How Tax Cuts Will Affect You by Dave Ramsey

| January 28, 2018

Delivering commonsense “tough love” clarifications and explanations of financial issues has always been a Dave Ramsey strength. After the Trump administration finally moved their tax plan through congress, Dave offered a 10 minute explanation as to whether it was a good thing or a bad thing. If you are steeped in years of seeing things […]

Closing in on a GOP Tax Plan vote – all signs point to Tuesday

| December 18, 2017

While waiting for the predicted Tuesday vote on the GOP Tax Plan that has been anticipated ALL year, it is looking like it might actually get done in 2017. It has not been easy or as simple as many of us wanted “Tax Reform,” but the corporate tax cut will make the U.S. more competitive […]

Student loan debt default rises in a strong labor market

| December 16, 2017

With all the buzz around Bitcoin and bubbles, the really big financial crisis being somewhat overlooked is Student Loan Debt. The number of Americans struggling to pay back the money they borrowed for their education is mindboggling. The WSJ reported that Nearly 5 Million Americans are in Default on their Student Loans … and there […]

Financial Friday: Income tax simplification #taxcuts #taxreform

| November 3, 2017

On Thursday, the long awaited Republican tax reform plan finally saw the light of day after most political and financial watchers haggled over the unknown details most of this year. President Trump has made tax reform and cuts as his centerpiece agenda as essential to growing the economy and stimulating job and wage growth for […]

Why be cautious with such hot financial markets, corporate tax cuts around the corner and the promise of tax reform?

| October 13, 2017

The early 1980s were challenging as manufacturing headed overseas, inflation ate up the buying power of every dollar and the cost to borrow was at an all time high. In fact, Brenda and I were giddy to have acquired a 12% mortgage on our first house in 1982 because our friends were applying for new […]

Fed raises rates in June not September as expected

| June 14, 2017

Sort of a surprise to most Fed watchers today as the consensus was for the Federal Reserve to raise rates a 1/4 point in September, not June. Perhaps it won’t make much difference for the whole year, but Chair Janet Yellen obviously wants to stay ahead of the curve. The target inflation rate remain 2% […]

Rethinking our National Debt while still encouraging growth

| June 4, 2017

From a small business perspective, excessive debt is near the top for reasons entrepreneurs fail in business. In my experience there are bankers and leasers with terms in the lenders favor, but not in the borrower’s favor. Bankruptcies are harmful not only to the person and family going through the ordeal, but on the creditors […]

The economy: 5 Lessons From 1Q 2017 – Jim Glassman

| May 20, 2017

Every once in a while comes an “it’s a small world“ surprise and one wonders, “why didn’t I know this?” This past week, my sister-in-law sent me a link to an article from her husband Dan Glassman’s brother Jim. The link was to Jim’s Linkedin page and opined on the economy. I figured … we […]

Pressure eases on Federal Reserve to continue rate hikes

| May 1, 2017

The rate of U.S. inflation for March was slower than expected just one month after hitting a five-year peak. The number reflects lower gasoline and consumer goods prices, including automobiles. Thiis could ease pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, even though central banks have telegraphed increases this year. The U.S. economy is […]

Economy and robust 1st quarter 2017 for stock market

| April 1, 2017

The “Trump Rally” as many have dubbed it, provided investors with solid quarterly gains as a brighter economic outlook offset the lackluster Washington DC agenda which has become bogged down in politics.  Investors still believe job growth, better corporate financial returns and tax cuts will over shadow the Fed “applying the brakes” in the form of higher […]

Can the Federal Government find political balance?

| January 26, 2017

My answer: Rarely does the pendulum find the middle. Neither the fiscal or social policy balancing coming from Washington DC makes much sense to me. There have to be moderates who see validity in each others positions? Rather than the black and white collisions between the liberal Democrats and the conservative Republicans’ points of view, […]

Tech – Jobs Friday: Wages up, but a tepid 156K nonfarm job rise

| January 6, 2017

U.S. employment increased less than expected in December, but wages are rising, ever so slightly after a long stagnancy. Most economists are positive since they say we only need to create 56,000 jobs per month to keep up with current levels of new entrants in the job market. Others will point out that our job […]

Investing to and past DOW 20,000 under a President Trump

| December 23, 2016

We still have a week of trading before closing the books on 2016, but those last few DJIA psychological points to 20,000 have proven evasive. Thursday’s 23 point decline, after the steady climb since the election, has a few gurus thinking the Trump Rally may be ahead of itself?  Some are looking at current corporate […]

Ugly election, Middle East unrest, Economy – October surprise?

| October 18, 2016

Maybe it is just me being a little nervous, but there are a lot of potential triggers for panic. The craziest presidential election I’ve ever seen, a stock market that has risen longer than average between recessions (with tepid economic growth), unrest in the middle east (of course always on fire) and both the Chicago […]

Everybody thinks they are an economist … including me!

| October 16, 2016

I love simplicity … so when tossing around political footballs, I generally join the team that at least "attempts" to simplify government and taxes. I’m not naïve enough to believe it will ever happen or even work well, but after filing personal (for friends and family), organizations and business taxes for years, it would sure […]

How does government best assist in job creation?

| October 7, 2016

What is the goal? More and better paying jobs, profits for companies and growing tax revenues to fund government services, entitlements and improved ability to pay down our nation’s debt. How do we accomplish this? There are two ways government helps to create jobs in the US. The current Democrats remain focused on #1, while […]

Books and WSJ page: Trumped! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin

| September 27, 2016

After watching David Stockman on Wall Street Week this past weekend, I was intrigued enough in his message of economic panic to pick up the Kindle version of his latest book. Although he is not new to the "Henny Penny" view that economically we can’t continue on the current path, hearing and reading his analysis […]

Fuel economy on the BMW X5 35d diesel after modifications

| September 9, 2016

For those following the modifications and upgrades on our 2010 BMW X5 35d for most of 2016, below are the resulting fuel economy improvements, at least so far. This 5225 lb SUV (minus a few pounds) will never be a Volkswagen TDI fuel sipper, but I’ll take a 15% mpg improvement considering it also has […]

Our BMW X5 35d loves cheap diesel fuel ;-)

| August 14, 2016

First let me qualify, this is the discounted United Dairy Farmers (UDF – Mobil) price for diesel … but I’m not complaining about $2.14 either (current Aug 2016 price). It isn’t like we need an excuse to buy milkshakes, but their summer promotion in discounts fuel is the little push I need to bring home […]

Sensible economic thinking from business CEO Andy Puzder

| August 11, 2016

There are people who have the ability to communicate and can make "simple-sense" of the usually complicated economic issues facing our country. I’d like to believe that IF enough voters are willing to digest the three minutes of conversation below, that they would be less inclined to "dis" a business oriented pro-growth policy that is […]

Crude Oil paralleling the stock market and world economies

| March 23, 2016

Looking at the Finviz chart of the wild second half of 2015 slide for crude oil, one would think we Americans would be cheering since we love driving big cars. Unfortunately lower crude prices (and prices at the pump) are also indicators of a struggling domestic and world economy. U.S. companies need strong international economies […]

Uncertainty, regulation and taxes taint the year for investors

| December 16, 2015

The relatively flat year for stocks reflects the sentiment of many Americans who instinctively know the long and slow economic recovery has been unnecessarily hindered by politicians. The United States is certainly capable of stronger grow overall and in my opinion the blame lands heavily on the burdensome regulation, high corporate taxes and bloated government […]

Crude oil falls below $37 per barrel – a 7 year low

| December 8, 2015

Warmer forecasts, no production cut by OPEC and inventory surplus is keeping energy prices low and crude oil has moved to seven year lows. The impact is being felt by small leveraged U.S. oil companies who are on the brink of bankrupcy and even creating waves throughout the economy. As I tweeted… Oil prices fell […]

How are you doing in the Obama economy?

| September 23, 2015

No doubt the American Dream is slipping away from the middle class, but a quick look a few graphs below depicts an even more dismal image of a nation in decline. Is it too late to turn our country around? Let’s hope not!   Unfortunately too many regulations, thousands of laws, taxes on taxes and […]

How low can we go — stocks, commodities, oil, economy, etc?

| August 21, 2015

We often hear the “firing on all cylinders” comment when talking about fiscal execution in managing companies … well the U.S. and World economy is not currently firing on many cylinders. Countries in Asia have been taking their lead from the 2008 model enacted by the US Fed which devalues currency in relation to other […]

Jobs report: 280,000 jobs in May with 5.5% unemployment

| June 5, 2015

The jobs numbers were relatively positive considering the weak growth earlier this year, but still concerning in that the post-recession job growth is not was is normally expected after a recession. Still, one positive is that we are not facing inflation or seeing numbers that would indicate the U.S. is slipping back into a recession. […]

Job openings are up … but hirings are down

| April 8, 2015

Very confusing numbers in a recent Wall Street Journal graph noting that the number of job openings being posted are way up (green line) … up to the highest level in 14 years. That’s good news right? Unfortunately a look at the red line shows the number of hiring. Hmm, that trend has moved down, […]

Positive Jobs Report as US economy continues to recover

| February 6, 2015

While watching my Twitter feed and tuning into Squawkbox on CBNC (my usual morning routine), the excitement was notable particularly since partisans on both sides of the political spectrum spar to take credit for improving numbers. We do seem to be on a trajectory of adding jobs consistently which should eventually put pressure on employers […]

The Swiss Bank surprise has investors rushing into Gold

| January 15, 2015

While watching the stock market decline and gold prices rise this week (Swiss franc against the euro decoupling) and listening to economists suggest deflation is likely, it is becoming clear that the slowdown overseas will be impacting earning for large cap companies and international funds. The U.S. economy seems to be holding up, but pension […]

The average Jane and John has a few more dollars to spend

| December 29, 2014

As the year draws to a close, we can be thankful for economic boost coming from cheaper gasoline.  The chart above show just how rapid the decline in the price of Crude Oil changed. It illustrates the unbelievable shift in the cost of energy for all of us. It is partially due to demand, but […]

Chinese economy #1–thanks for the leadership President Obama

| December 5, 2014

It’s not entirely fair to blame President Obama for American decline and China’s rise in economic prominence, but his lack of inspiring American Exceptionalism and worldwide apology tour hasn’t helped. Words and attitude aside, his policies slowing our economic recovery are most to blame as we watch industry evaluate the best place to invest capital; […]

Enough playing politics with the minimum wage

| November 4, 2014

There is a populous push coming from Democrats and the Obama administration to increase the Federal minimum wage … instead of letting markets to set the proper levels. It’s understandable with all the negatives facing the Whitehouse and failing policies being pushed by Democrats to create jobs, that politicians resort to simpleton tactics that appeal […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.