The Strong Dollar—Friend or Foe?

“Central banks are no longer acting like central banks.  I think it gets dangerous when they lose sight of the basic function of a central bank…to defend the value of the currency.”      Former Fed Chairman, Paul Volcker Two years ago we published an Investment Strategy Update titled Currency War where we forecasted “… a strengthening […]

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Cheap Oil

“My formula for success is rise early, work late, and strike oil.” – J. Paul Getty Less than a year ago, the cost of a barrel of crude oil in the United States was over $100, where it had been hovering for more than two years.  Now that same barrel can be bought for approximately […]

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2015 – The Year Ahead

With 2014 now in the books, U.S. stocks have risen for five consecutive years.  Despite the debate about its strength and sustainability, the U.S. economy has continued to expand at a moderate pace.  Corporate profits are growing, unemployment is trending lower, inflation remains subdued, and the Fed continues to delay the timing of tightening monetary […]

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Big Data = Huge Opportunity

The idea of harnessing “big data” is hardly new, yet continuing improvements in computing power have brought it to fruition in ways that should be genuinely impactful to future economic growth and the way we live our lives.  At one level, big data the noun is just the accumulated record of our modern, digitized life, […]

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Corporate Inversions – Tax Dodge or Astute Management?

“Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury.  There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.  Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging […]

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Dementia – What We Know

During the opening scene of the 2007 movie Away From Her, Fiona (played by Julie Christie) and her husband Grant (Gordon Pinsent) are cleaning up after dinner.  Having dried a frying pan, Fiona walks to the refrigerator, puts the pan in the freezer, and leaves the kitchen. Other examples of unusual behavior follow:  During a […]

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The Fuss Over High-Frequency Trading

Since the publication of Michael Lewis’s book Flash Boys, there has been a surge in the discussion about high-frequency trading and high-frequency traders (“HFTs”).  Individuals have for years been expressing opinions about the practice, which, at its core, is the use of high-speed computing and communications equipment to gain a trading advantage in securities markets.  […]

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A Dry State

In 2011 (“Water, Water, Every Where, Nor Any Drop To Drink”), we wrote about how a growing, industrializing world population was placing strain on the planet’s fresh water resources.  Back then there was an obvious need for governments to be thinking about expanding their water supply options.  Today, the issue is more urgent, and closer […]

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3D Printing

Perhaps better described as “additive manufacturing,” the so-called 3D printing industry comprises a relatively new group of technologies that allows the creation of solid objects from digital models.  We believe the moniker is somewhat misleading, because although some 3D printers and their components are reminiscent of traditional office document printers, their purpose and the end […]

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2014 – The Year Ahead

As the investment years pass by, certain things remain constant. Short-term stock market fluctuations are a function of investor reactions to developing news events, while longer term they’re all about the growth of corporate profits, dividends, and changes in valuation. What were the investment consequences of the crash of 1987, the tragedy of 9/11, or […]

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