Stock market pain was felt on Wall Street – 9/13/2022

| September 13, 2022

If you believe the number 13 makes for an unlucky day, you’ll probably point to that as an omen … but the deep, nearly 1300 points, drop in the Dow came as investors and economists were expecting an easing pace of inflation … not continued high inflation.  The CPI report indicated a 8.3% rate compared […]

A day of negative news and some positive: The stock market was down big, but the plus, Taylor closed on a condo

| August 26, 2022

It was an ugly day on Wall Street as investors reacted to comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell who indicated “that the Federal Reserve must continue to raise rates” and “hold them at a higher level until they are confident inflation is under control.” Some economists highlighted in Barron’s Magazine last week, have suggested that […]

Summer fill up of the #diesel 2010 BMW 35d in 2022

| July 24, 2022

UGH! Gasoline may have dropped 40 cent per gallon as American consumers cut back on travel and driving due to inflation and the likely coming recession, but diesel prices continue to remain elevated. There are very few options when “you need to get to go, and need to be able to get where you need […]

Stocks, bonds, crypto all down. What to do, what to do?

| May 13, 2022

FoxBusiness/WSJ graphic For the good or bad, whenever I’m away from my daily routine, it seems like the financial markets lose stability and investors go into crisis mode? The past couple of weeks, those invested in stocks, bonds and crypto know that it has been painful; there have been very few refuges from the sharp […]

Dealing with rising prices and the Fed hitting the brakes

| April 23, 2022

As the Fed finally starts to deal with inflation, the market took note this month and seems to be selling off across the board. The expectation is that the economy will slow and as they say in the investing world, “don’t fight the Fed.” There isn’t a silver bullet that can keep businesses booming, paychecks […]

John Steele Gordon and Milton Friedman on Inflation

| March 23, 2022

From a John Steele Gordon lecture at Hillsdale College … “money is just another commodity, no different from petroleum, pork bellies, or pig iron. So money, like all commodities, can rise and fall in price, depending on supply and demand. But because money is, by definition, the one commodity that is universally accepted in exchange […]

Inflation, rising food and fuel prices could trigger a recession

| March 12, 2022

Nobody wants to really hear or see anymore written about inflation. We’ve all seen it with our own two eyes and our wallets have felt it since the Biden administration took office. No more though than the last couple of weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine as the  West’s political miscalculations and head-in-the-tar-sands polices have made […]

Pondering Stagflation in the US after Russia invades Ukraine

| March 2, 2022

I’m not an expert on how the events in Ukraine will impact the world, but I do pay close attention to geopolitical events, the financial markets and the economy … and can’t help but wonder how this will reshape our future. For the past year or so I’ve been grumbling about how the Biden administration’s […]

Inflation Hot? (Part 2): Inverted Yield Curve and Recession

| February 12, 2022

Although this is really not a smooth continuation from yesterday’s “Inflation Hot” post, the financial and economic theme remains the same … so it will be considered “part 2.” The post left off with trying to stop inflation in the 1980s and forcing a recession, actually “back to back recessions.” We can all hope that […]

Inflation Hot? Stop it with a recession or two. (Part 1)

| February 11, 2022

It is pretty obvious to most consumers that even with years of the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates low, printing money and Congress spending, inflation remained in check at under 2%. Unfortunately after the last round of easy money policies during the pandemic, business shutdowns and government giving away money, this is no longer true. […]

How long can the U.S. keep bailing before the ship sinks?

| January 25, 2022

So … how’s the economy doing in 2022? Well, if you measure it based on the stock market or maybe finding a job (if you want to work) … then the façade looks ok. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find out that your paycheck doesn’t go that far … IF you can find what […]

A storm is coming and few running our country seem to care

| January 8, 2022

It feels like we are obliviously sailing on the Titanic and ignoring a financial storm on the horizon. We know that there is a debt iceberg ahead and yet have convinced ourselves that the United States is unsinkable … and so … continue our TRILLION dollar money printing and our unsustainable spending ways. Congress spends […]

The Bankrupting of America – Stephen Moore for PragerU

| October 20, 2021

Here’s a short video worth 5 minutes of your time to watch and to contemplate before Congress and President Biden makes our spending spree even worse. “You can’t spend what you don’t have indefinitely ..” – Stephen Moore for Prager University. LINK to video

TRILLIONs more in spending? IRS tracking at the $600 level? Where are the sensible leaders in our Federal government?

| October 9, 2021

If you think about it, the IRS will probably need far more than another $80 BILLION tax dollars to hire enough agents to track and follow up on every American who has a bank account or transaction over $600? A major component of President Joe Biden’s plan to raise revenue to pay for his trillions […]

Lunch with Jeff, the economy, inflation and more nukes in China

| October 1, 2021

What once was a weekly or at least bi-monthly lunch with my friend Jeff, has shifted to once every 3 months or so since COVID19. It’s not all due to the pandemic as changes in work habits and eating out habits has contributed to neglecting getting together. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable to spend an hour […]

Are we looking at facemasks and shutdowns again? #COVID19

| July 24, 2021

If it were not for the questionable messaging being pushed by every politician, biased partisan media personality (both left and right), so called medical experts and even our own wishy-washy Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it would be easier to decipher if this Delta Covid-19 variant is something to worry about or just […]

Mexican lunches, salsa, discussions, reading and a good friend

| June 6, 2021

For years now … no, it is now decades … my buddy Jeff and I have gone out for lunch ever other week and almost exclusively to a Mexican restaurant … primarily for the chips and salsa (and relaxed conversation). Before that, we lived in different cities (he in Florida and then Alabama … and […]

Do you build or buy a new house this year or put it off?

| March 18, 2021

Real estate has been on a tear in many markets as the coronavirus has people moving from cities to the suburbs and their own piece of land. In my opinion it is not just COVID19 related, but that fact that cities aren’t as secure or as tax friendly to live in, especially on the east […]

Bubblicious, but I am not talking about bubble gum popping

| January 26, 2021

All I can think about are the stock market “bubbles” from the past. I’d love to believe the upward trend we’ve seen this past years is genuine and built on an appropriate foundation, but suspect as most know, it is being built on “hope” and “stimulus dollars.” Now that is not to say that certain […]

Watching stocks tank day after day requires a strong stomach

| March 10, 2020

The “old school” razor sharpening animated GIF below has NOTHING to do with my emotional state after stomaching Monday’s stock market crash and “oil war” between Russia and Saudi Arabia … so don’t read anything into my poor attempt at humor. After watching the DOW drop over 2158 points and seeing the index close just […]

What is going to stop the US stock market and $AAPL stock?

| January 18, 2020

While working on post highlighting the DJIA crossing 29,000, I realized that the stock market has blown through that milestone and is rocketing towards 30,000 and that I’ll have to start over (probably a “worry-wart” post is coming). One of the big contributors to this Dow Jones Industrial Average is Apple ($AAPL). It just continues […]

Low inflation. Will it continue? It depends on who you ask.

| January 5, 2020

An interesting take on “inflation” and how different generations perceive the possibility of it accelerating in the next decade or so … and perhaps the effect it can or will have on our lives. For example, in the graph below, pick your birth year and note the color bars to determine how many years of […]

A Fuelly.com update on my 2010 BMW X5 35d #diesel

| December 27, 2019

Since I’m often asked what kind of fuel economy I’m getting on my slightly “tweaked” 2010 BMW X5 35d diesel SUV, here’s the yearly update from my log on Fuelly.com. Nothing to write home about, but then there have been far more local trips than the interstate driving a few years ago … besides, my […]

Will the average American middle class family rent forever?

| August 11, 2019

As the cost of education, health care, cars, etc. goes up, it should be no surprise our financing habits change in order to pay for priorities like higher education … or luxuries like newer and more reliable cars. Paying for semi-essentials is significantly more expensive than in the past and we now extend paying for […]

Political unrest is impacting economy and financial markets

| May 24, 2019

The political tension around the globe, along with the trade battle between the United States and China, have put a damper on what was a relatively good economy here in the U.S.  Add to those challenging international negotiations, the deepening divide between many Democrats still seeking to impeach President Trump in control of Congress are […]

A good economy, but we are dealing with other political issues

| May 22, 2019

Yes … the U..S economy is in good shape … but if you are an investor, these last few weeks may not have felt like the stock market is responding as it should in a good economy? Enter trade with China … well primarily China. Yet there is also unrest in the Middle East with […]

Investing during the first quarter 2019 has been rewarding

| May 1, 2019

Those of us invested or following the stock market either with individual stocks, mutual funds or ETF index funds have to be pleased with the rebound in the economy since December 2018. The first quarter has rewarded those who remained invested (so as long as they have been diversified) for the long haul. Even with […]

Food for thought with all the political labeling nowadays

| April 6, 2019

Obviously labeling someone as a “fascist, socialist or an authoritarian dictator” is not new in politics, but the bigger government grows, the more we U.S. voters need to defend America’s founding principles such as individual liberty and personal freedom. During the 2016 campaign and election of President Donald Trump, those on the political left were […]

Why is the yield curve inversion so important?

| March 31, 2019

Great "Quicktake" explaination on Bloomberg. The Yield Curve Is Inverted! Remind Me Why I Care If you’re wondering what a yield curve is and why there’s so much fretting in the U.S. over it flattening — and parts of it even inverting — you’re not alone. Late last year, Google searches for “yield curve inversion” […]

What will higher diesel fuel cost mean for the economy? #inflation

| February 5, 2019

The prediction that diesel fuels will rise (“double in price” – note the last minute of the interview) is bound to impact the price of goods. Everything is shipped using diesel fuel, be it on ships, trains or trucks, and with those prices rising significantly, consumers will be paying. On the personal side, those of […]

Fuelly.com fuel economy update: 2010 BMW X5 35d #diesel

| December 18, 2018

Here’s a “near the end of the year” update on my 2010 BMW X5 35d with a few modifications. Quite a bit more power, but probably not much of a fuel economy improvement. Nevertheless, it is a heavy SUV and I do tend to drive a bit above the speed limit. Unfortunately we’re back to […]

How prepared are we for the next economic downturn?

| November 13, 2018

After Monday’s selloff (see below), what lies ahead for the U.S. economy? That thought has some of seriously thinking the next economic downturn could come sooner rather than as expected … later. The sell off … "again" … has me wondering if we are prepared for the next recession? Is the U.S., or the world, […]

Mid-term elections: What it might mean for the US economy

| November 4, 2018

Americans are finally working again and the U.S. is once again the place for businesses to expand, hire, give raises and grow. For all the questionable rhetoric from the far right and left extremes … and yes, from President Trumps’ "tweets" and biased media reporting … the actual governing under his administration and a GOP […]

Wages and prices rise as the economy improves. #inflation

| November 2, 2018

As the positive economy in the U.S. continues to grow America out of the "great recession" and rebound off the slow growth Obama years, we are seeing signs of inflation, hopefully just the right amount. Wages are rising and businesses sense they have pricing power and can raise prices (their cost are up too). Consumers […]

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 […]

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.
My Desultory Blog