My family and I went out to dinner this past summer on a Sunday night during my vacation – five adults at a ‘farm-to-table’ restaurant in Maine. As you might expect, we received a somewhat healthy bill. Three nights later, the same group of five went out to dinner at a nouveaux Italian restaurant. When I looked at the bill, something struck me as odd. Later, when I set the receipts from those two very different restaurants side by side, I had to rub my eyes – they were exactly the same! The same five people on two different nights at two different restaurants with two different menus managed to produce the same exact amount on the bills! What were the chances of that – and what did it mean?
Recently I read that the latest Powerball winner would walk away with about $150 million after taxes! Wow!
The recent, seemingly terminal decline in interest rates has been difficult on many investors who have been planning their income needs for the future. Interestingly enough, a wise presenter at a meeting I attended in January* addressed this very point with a ‘wow’ factor of quite a different nature.
Oh boy, are we a mercurial bunch!
Back in the summer I went on record that, amid the malaise, I was bullish on the market. As it turns out, equity market indices, by and large, printed positive returns for 2012. The S&P 500 Index was up 16% or so for the year. As of January 31, we have continued the positive upward momentum.
I don’t write these lines to gloat or to tap out a victory dance. As someone once told me, they don’t hand out trophies at half-time. Or perhaps more to the point, it’s harmful to exit a moving vehicle before coming to a complete stop. I share this because, while investors are warming to the opportunities in equities, the crowd noise from observers and the media pundits suggests that they believe the game is nearly over, and the journey will come to an abrupt end. Wow – the ‘haters’ are out in force!
I’m feeling bullish on the markets. There, I said it. Despite the fact that (according to a recent Barron’s poll) 21% of financial advisors are not and, despite the fact that my formative years – with my bell-bottom pants and hankering for disco – were shaped by the depths of the 1970s bear market. (more…)
I am a certified Hoop junky! From the asphalt courts of NYC playgrounds to various hardwood courts around the world, I have played pick-up basketball all my life. I love competitive match-ups, whether among a rag-tag group of 5 on 5, the Final Four or the NBA playoffs. As such, watching the Eastern Finals in the NBA the last few weeks has been both depressing and exhilarating.