Pay Raise? Thank the States — And A Tight Job Market

Bigger Raises Might Be Coming in 2018 Thank tightening labor markets, higher minimum wages and steady growth. Bloomberg, January 8, 2018     Tight labor markets and rising minimum wages are leading to real pay increases for lots of Americans. These are two economic trends I have been writing about for the past several years. The tightening… Read More The post Pay Raise? Thank the States — And A Tight Job Market appeared first on The Big Picture.

How Much Should Fair Value Matter to Investors?

Stocks Are Pricey? It Depends The real question is: Relative to what? Bloomberg, January 5, 2018       How cheap or expensive are stocks? This is one of the more interesting investing debates, and a very confusing question for institutions and individuals alike. It often leads to fear, paralysis or bad decision-making, or some… Read More The post How Much Should Fair Value Matter to Investors? appeared first on The Big Picture.

What Market Signals Are in Magazine Covers?

That Magazine Cover Doesn’t Make Apple Shares a ‘Sell’ The value of the signal here is just about zero. Bloomberg, December 27, 2017     The past weekend’s Barron’s cover showing Apple’s extravagant new headquarters and suggesting that the company’s market value would reach $1 trillion in 2018 generated some chatter from the usual suspects. An issue… Read More The post What Market Signals Are in Magazine Covers? appeared first on The Big Picture.

When to Sell Bitcoin

A Strategy for Deciding When to Sell Bitcoin Maximizing gains is fine, but minimizing regrets counts for a lot too. Bloomberg, December 20, 2017     Running a money-management firm provides a window into the psyches of all kinds of people: long-term investors, real estate speculators, institutional traders, tech entrepreneurs and everyone in between. During… Read More The post When to Sell Bitcoin appeared first on The Big Picture.

Retail’s Woes? Much More Than Online

Retailers Still Haven’t Caught Up to Millennials The children of baby boomers don’t seek personal fulfillment through shopping. Bloomberg, December 13, 2017     Last month I wrote up my annual tirade about the National Retail Federation holidaysales forecast. The NRF’s track record — it uses a deeply flawed methodology — is terrible. The group makes a silly prediction, I make… Read More The post Retail’s Woes? Much More Than Online appeared first on The Big Picture.

10 Books for Winter Reading

Must-Reads of 2017: From Finance to Extinction Fama’s efficient markets. Dalio’s principles. A global wipeout. Bloomberg, December 7, 2017     Every year about this time, I make plans for my winter reading. The modern era of the written word is an embarrassment of riches; selecting the 10 that seem most worthwhile is a daunting task.…

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The Philosophical Evolution of Vanguard

Vanguard Begins Updating Its Investing Philosophy Founder Jack Bogle isn’t crazy about smart-beta and factor-based products, but the firm will offer them anyway. Bloomberg, December 4, 2017     As if it hasn’t done enough this year, Vanguard Inc. is shaking up the world of factor investing and smart beta by introducing six new exchange-traded funds and one mutual… Read More The post The Philosophical Evolution of Vanguard appeared first on The Big Picture.

Black Friday Forecasts Still Suck

Holiday Sales Forecasts Still Stink Just say no to unreliable methodologies. Bloomberg, November 22, 2017     It’s that time of year when we all gather to give thanks for our blessings, overindulge in various foodstuffs, and, of course, go shopping. Shopmas is also the time of the year when I call out the National Retail Federation for their bogus retail forecasts; they… Read More The post Black Friday Forecasts Still Suck appeared first on The Big Picture.

What Does a $450M DaVinci Tell Us About Markets?

In Search of Market Signals in the $450 Million Da Vinci Price contains information, but how much does an outlier art sale say about stocks or the economy? Bloomberg, November 20, 2017     Economist Friedrich Hayek wrote that “price contains information.” So what information is contained in the almost a half billion-dollar price for a painting?… Read More The post What Does a $450M DaVinci Tell Us About Markets? appeared first on The Big Picture.

Tesla’s New Supercar Trounces Ferrari

Tesla Keeps Scaring the Other Automakers Its cars are faster, while its innovations force the competition to play catch up. Bloomberg, November 17, 2017     Yesterday, Tesla Inc.1 founder and Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk introduced the company’s new electric-powered tractor trailer. The “Semi” goes 500 miles on a charge, uses Tesla’s semiautonomous driving system,… Read More The post Tesla’s New Supercar Trounces Ferrari appeared first on The Big Picture.

Coal Correction

This week, I have been working on my annual mea culpas. The timing is fortuitous, cause I wrote something rather inelegantly that could easily be misinterpreted. Stated less generously, what I wrote was wrong, and this my official correction. In Nothing Trump Does Can Save Coal, I wrote: Despite all of that, coal generated most of… Read More The post Coal Correction appeared first on The Big Picture.

Coal’s Last Stand

Nothing Trump Does Can Save Coal Don’t blame liberals and regulations; blame capitalism and technology. Bloomberg, November 15, 2017     On the campaign trail and in the White House, Donald Trump has warmly embraced coal. He has rolled back regulations on its use and eliminated some federal subsidies for alternative energies like solar and… Read More The post Coal’s Last Stand appeared first on The Big Picture.