Category Archives: Trends

What Does It Mean When Your Portfolio Is Up 10%?

You receive portfolio performance reports every three months—a form of transparency that financial planning professionals introduced at a time when the typical brokerage statement was impossible to decipher.  But it might surprise you to know that most professionals think there is actually little value to any quarterly performance information, other than to reassure you that you actually do own a diversified portfolio of investments.  It’s very difficult to know if you’re staying abreast of the market, and for most of us, that’s not really relevant anyway.

Why?

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Our Driverless Future

By now, you’re familiar with at least the concept of driverless cars—a new technology where computers will replace humans behind the wheel, gradually at first, and then all at once ten or more years down the (pun intended) road.  But what you probably haven’t seen is a comprehensive review of the interesting social changes a driverless world would bring about—and the potential investment implications of it.

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Crypto-Bubble

One candidate for the greatest bull market run in financial history is the recent runup in price of the Bitcoin—the crypto-currency favored by international arms dealers and drug cartels, but also gaining acceptance at some retail locations.  The so-called “internet of money” is not backed by any government, which its promoters say is a good thing, because the currency is not subject to QEs or over-caffeinated printing presses in Washington, Brussels or Tokyo.

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Starship Medicine

If you’ve ever watched the Star Trek TV show, or any of the franchise’s movies, you’ve probably noticed that spaceship medicine is different from what we’re accustomed to.  Instead of a physical exam, on the Starship Enterprise, the doctor points a blinking device at the patient and arrives at an instant diagnosis of any health issue.

Could that ever happen in real life?  It could—and actually has.

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Workplace Happiness—and Not So Much

What are the happiest and unhappiest jobs in the U.S. economy?   Put another way, what careers would you want to steer your children and grandchildren toward and away from if you want them to be happy during their work hours?

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Economic Progress

It’s not uncommon to hear people wish that we could return to the “good old days,” when the world seemed more prosperous.  Of course, depending on how far you go back, the “good old days” might cover a time when the world was poised on the edge of a nuclear precipice, when the Soviet Union and other communist governments basically enslaved more than 50% of the world’s population, when racism was practiced openly and codified in the legal system, when there was no Internet or smartphones, and when TV entertainment consisted of three or sometimes four channels on a heavy, small-screen device that didn’t include a remote.

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Safer but Poorer

In an effort to secure the U.S. borders, the President has attempted to ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, and is meanwhile quietly instituting “extreme vetting” of visitors from other nations—asking them to turn over their phones, social media passwords and financial records.  Even U.S. citizens are experiencing more scrutiny when they attempt to return to their home country.

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