The Dark Knight Passes

The title as a nod to the passing of Adam West, the weekly Market Update has been posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; The action in emerging market exchange traded funds bears mentioning. The larger ETFs are up 15-20% this year after years of relative misery. As a building block of understanding, most investors would accept that a diversified portfolio would have exposure to foreign markets including emerging. The last few years of underperformance likely breeds impatience with the idea but it is important to remember that between foreign and domestic equities one must outperform the other in a given year and while someone could guess which will outperform this year, guessing is akin to hoping and hope makes for a lousy investment strategy. Please click through to read the entire update. From Monument Valley last October LA County Fire in Malibu (it really surprised me how much I like the LA County rigs) Rat rod bike of...

Monetizing A Hobby

One of the long running themes of this blog has been to monetize a hobby as part of a retirement planning solution. I last touched on it a month ago. The context is simple. If you enjoy doing something enough that you spend a lot of your time doing it then you are in a good position to know whether or not your hobby can in fact be monetized. Success in this regard, like most things, requires putting in time in terms of getting better/more knowledgeable and figuring how to actually monetize the thing you do. Over the last couple of weeks I embarked on an attempt to monetize my interest in photography. I had about a dozen pictures put on canvas, two on metal and then a bunch of regular pictures made and participated in my first show over the weekend. I got a banner made at Vista Print, had to get a couple of business/tax documents and pay for a spot at the show which was at the Courthouse Square in downtown Prescott. Some of the shows like this on the square cost $400-$500 which makes no economic sense for what I am doing. The charge for vendors at this one was $125. I am scheduled for the Walker Day Art Show (the fire department’s big annual event) and that one is only $25. My all in is about $700. A while back I mentioned that one of the fire department board members is quite successful selling wood carvings; he’s in three galleries and occasionally does shows like the one I did over the weekend. He said...

We’ll Always Have Paris

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; During the financial crisis we all learned a lot about the financial health or lack thereof for the states with pension obligations being a big driver in many instances. One of the weakest states was revealed to be Illinois and things have not improved, arguably they have gotten worse. Standard & Poors and Moody’s both cut their ratings for the state to one step above junk which is the lowest rating ever for a state. Although Illinois has pension issues it also has had trouble passing a budget. New Jersey is another state on relatively shaky ground. It used to be that investors were thought to be better off buying general obligation bonds but this pivoted in the financial crisis to favor revenue bonds and for many investors that is still the belief. Please click through to read the entire update. One of my favorite Trophy Truck pictures. Taken last December in Los Angeles At Capitol Reef National Park in Torey, UT last...

Blogger Wisdom

My latest post excerpts a commentary I submitted to the blog Abnormal Returns; Ten years hence, what we will be embarrassed by that we were excited about in 2017? We will likely be embarrassed by whatever it is we fear the most today. For some, that might be something political, for others it might be fear of one of the many bubbles that we read about that probably aren’t real. In the summer of 2002 there was a tremendous fear whipped up because CEOs were going to be required to sign off on reported earnings. This was a follow on from some of the big corporate frauds that emerged coincidently to the tech wreck. I promise you the fear of this was very real but it coincided with one of two important market bottoms. Most people that I talk to now have no recollection of this threat. Please click through to read the entire post. The fleet maintenance shop that services our vehicles. Arizona Game & Fish Department...