The Science Now Shows our 38.64 Million Unemployed Could Return to Work

May 21, 2020

As a financial advisor, I deal in absolutes, data, numerical analysis, and logic.  Clients are constantly asking me for my take on a wide variety of related subjects, and no subject has been more confusing to them than our nation’s convoluted and ever-changing response to the Chinese COVID-19 virus and its consequences to their finances.  When our leaders and virology experts first recommended shutting down society, we didn’t know what we didn’t yet know—so we played it safe.  That was

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Coronavirus and Our National Debt

May 8, 2020

As this author celebrates 30 years in private practice this month, I can think of no issue about which I have seen more confusion, misunderstandings, and lack of context over that span than the issue of our National Debt. Every four years, as Americans go to the polls, the party out of power in the White House finds a way to misrepresent and assign responsibility for the national debt to the party currently in power in the White House. The

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Illogic and Half-Truths in the Time of Coronavirus

April 19, 2020

If the first casualty of war is truth, surely it is also a victim of the partisan divide now infecting the national debate surrounding Coronavirus. “Facts are stubborn things”, said John Adams, and the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan expounded with, “You’re entitled to your opinion, you’re just not entitled to your own facts.”  Allow me to suggest that truthful assessment does not focus only on those facts that support a preconceived conclusion—while covering up or ignoring those that don’t. Sound

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Self-Quarantining into Economic Depression

April 5, 2020

After multiple conversations with many respected clients in their 60s, 70s, and 80s, I wanted to broach a subject that has caused some in our nation a shame-storm of criticism. I want to suggest that our public remedy, specifically our one-size-fits-all approach to Coronavirus, will soon have an irreversible impact on our country for 2020 and beyond, and that it risks untold damage to companies and entire industries if we continue on this path much longer—and to the lives of

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The Coronavirus, the American Economy, and Your Accounts

March 2, 2020

At this writing, no one knows with any certainty what the impact, both economically and demographically, will be on any nation currently dealing with a coronavirus outbreak.  However, there are some important things to keep in mind as we look at what we do know. What we know is that the coronavirus is related to the common cold.  We know that the mortality rate is approximately 0.9% of those affected, lower than that of influenza on an annual basis. We

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How the Average Retired Couple Could Deplete a $750,000 IRA in Only 17 Years

July 25, 2018

Bob and Julie, both age 65, just retired.  They’re both healthy, unafraid of market risk, and have a $750,000 IRA averaging 6% annual growth that their broker has told them “should last them the rest of their lives.”  The following are the average realities facing any such couple in August of 2018: When a couple reaches the age of 65 together, one of them has a 50% chance of living to 92, and a 25% chance of living to 97

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The Coming Crisis in Corporate Debt

May 28, 2018

By: Thomas K. Brueckner One of the most accurate portrayals of the liquidity crisis surrounding the Subprime Housing Market Collapse of 2007 & 2008, was an HBO “docu-drama” entitled Too Big to Fail, the screenplay for which was derived from extensive interviews with each of the participants. These included Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Hank Paulson, Sheila Bair (the FDIC Chairwoman), and Fed chief Ben Bernanke, stoically played by Paul Giamatti.  In the climactic scene, those four regulators are sitting on

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The Sky Is Falling… But Wait!

March 30, 2018

After one heck of a year, we’ve had one heck of a month and, not to be outdone, one heck of a week. After falling as much as -11.3% from its January highs, the S&P 500 just recorded a March slump of -3.2% and is down nearly -2.6% on the year. The following have weighed on the stock market in just the last two weeks: The new Fed chairman, Jerome Powell, whose first day in office was greeted by the

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Is the Trump Rally Credible and Sustainable? March 3, 2017

March 30, 2017

Watching the President’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night, investors were looking for words that would inspire confidence in our economy and those “wildly overbought” markets we’ve seen since Election Day.  At this writing, the “Trump rally” has added an astonishing $3.2 trillion dollars to capital markets in the U.S., and the S&P 500 is up over 13% since November 8th.  The day after the speech, the Dow was up as much as 350 points, as investors gave the President high

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The single biggest political upset in American history

November 9, 2016

  Welcome back, Red-State America! Early this morning, America witnessed an unprecedented and historical political upset in the election of a “blue collar billionaire” in Donald J. Trump to the Presidency of the United States.  The screenshot above shows the counties won by Trump in red, along with the counties won by Ms. Clinton in blue, truly a stunning level of dominance given the victory that was supposedly assured the former secretary. In addition, voters came out in record numbers

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