This is a stock market blog about portfolio management,foreign stocks, exchange traded funds and the occasional musing about my firefighting experiences. The point here is to share process

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.

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One of my favorite Trophy Truck pictures.


Taken last December in Los Angeles


At Capitol Reef National Park in Torey, UT last October.


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.

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The fleet maintenance shop that services our vehicles.


Arizona Game & Fish Department



Watching Tech’s Weighting In The SPX

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following;

Barron’s had some interesting information on tech’s current weighting in the S&P 500 as follows; “Today, tech stocks make up 23.1% of the S&P 500, above the historical average of 15.4%, and fast catching up to the 26.5% combined weight for the six smallest sectors. While 23% still looks innocuous compared with a 34% weighting at the tech-bubble peak, Bespoke Investment Group reminds us that tech’s weight didn’t exceed 23% until September 1999, and has spent only a few months above 23%.”

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Search and Rescue quad taken in 2014


Arizona Diamondbacks home game 2015


Milan, Italy tucked behind the Foot Locker (seriously)


It Turns Out Brazil Has Political Problems

My latest post for Alpha Baskets looks at the shenanigans in Brazil and includes the following;

Paraphrasing Lloyd Bridges from the movie Airplane, Brazil picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue as news of an alleged incident implicating President Michel Temer with bribery sent the benchmark Bovespa index and the real reeling on Thursday. When the dust settled on Thursday the Bovespa was down about 9%…

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A Unimog inspired RV at the Overland Expo in Flagstaff from earlier in May. It resembles a lot of Type 3 wildland fire trucks.


The front end of a Defender 110


Political Volatility Catches Up To Markets (Kind Of)

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following;

The year to date decline of the US Dollar Index (DXY) took a steeper turn last week down to 97. It was just a few months ago at 103 that we talked about that level being the historical upper end of the range. Bullishness for further gains was plentiful but sometimes past resistance wins. The DXY is a long way from any downside support as significant as 103 has been to the upside. The DXY was at 80 in 2014. There are positives and negatives to a dollar trending lower including foreign equity holdings providing the currency appreciation tail wind for investors.

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Auckland, New Zealand February 2012


University of Phoenix Stadium hosting Copa America last June


Horny toad here in Walker