Musings.

Musings

The world, the economy, the markets, and our lives are dynamic. Events can have a large or small impact on us. They can create excitement, cause fears, raise questions, and spark insight.

Listed here are our most spontaneous, timely, and succinct comments on wealth, life, and more.





  • January 30, 2010 - Each week, The Economist publishes economic data on a sur

    Each week, The Economist publishes economic data on a survey of nations around the world. One slice of data consistently reported is the federal deficit as a percent of GDP. The UK has consistently led the list for excessive fiscal policy. Until recently, the US was close behind. At latest measure, the U.S. had things "under wraps" with a deficit of 10% of GDP and ranked fifth of the countries listed. Thanks to fiscal restraint, we can now claim to be more diligent than Greece with our federal coffers.



  • January 29, 2010 - Article 58

    Lunch today with a new member of Hawk100's HawkHunt service who will benefit from consolidating a heretofore complex array of accounts in various locations. Hawk100 will help the member appreciably by simplifying life and aligning wealth to support that life. We look forward to the journey.



  • January 29, 2010 - GDP to the rescue! Up an astounding 5.7% in 2009Q4. Wow

    GDP to the rescue! Up an astounding 5.7% in 2009Q4. Wow! Oh, but wait, there is that nasty inventory buildup embedded in GDP. Inventory building up indicates either companies produced excess amounts or consumers purchased less than expected. If the former, then companies will rationally reduce future production until inventory is in line causing further unemployment. If the latter, then companies are left holding excess inventory which they will either discount to liquidate or drain resources to store stuff that is not in demand. It's a good GDP number but take it with a block of salt.



  • January 29, 2010 - It will be interesting to see how U.S. markets respond to

    It will be interesting to see how U.S. markets respond to Bernanke confirmation. Asia declined while Europe has been up in early trading, though those regions are less dependent on U.S. Fed policy.



  • January 28, 2010 - NVR reported strong 2009Q4 yesterday. P/E ratio stands a

    NVR reported strong 2009Q4 yesterday. P/E ratio stands at 17.5 and company appears to be rebounding fundamentally.



  • January 28, 2010 - Led conference call of investment professional leaders fr

    Led conference call of investment professional leaders from around the Midwestern U.S.



  • January 28, 2010 - Article 53

    What did you think of Obama's State of the Union address? I found humor in the pledge to freeze spending...just not yet. Because "that's what you do...that's how budgets work." Sorry Mr. President, but I assume China found less humor in that pledge than I did.



  • January 28, 2010 - Attended meeting with Columbus chapter of Society of Fina

    Attended meeting with Columbus chapter of Society of Financial Service Professionals last evening. They appear to make a wonderful group with whom I will associate more closely.



  • January 27, 2010 - Just had a delightful telephone conversation with the cur

    Just had a delightful telephone conversation with the current board chair of CFA Institute in advance of meetings with the Board of Governors in Seoul next week.



  • January 27, 2010 - ...the third interesting point, dissention. "Voting again

    ...the third interesting point, dissention. "Voting against the policy action was Thomas M. Hoenig, who believed that economic and financial conditions had changed sufficiently that the expectation of exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period was no longer warranted." FOMC Statement



  • January 27, 2010 - ...the second statement that is even more relevant, "To p

    ...the second statement that is even more relevant, "To provide support to mortgage lending and housing markets and to improve overall conditions in private credit markets, the Federal Reserve is in the process of purchasing $1.25 trillion of agency mortgage-backed securities and about $175 billion of agency debt."



  • January 27, 2010 - The Federal Reserve Board issued a statement today follow

    The Federal Reserve Board issued a statement today following its regularly scheduled Federal Open Markets Committee meeting. The first statement that captures our attention, "With substantial resource slack continuing to restrain cost pressures and with longer-term inflation expectations stable, inflation is likely to be subdued for some time."



  • January 27, 2010 - NUCOR walloped its consensus earnings projection (0.19 ac

    NUCOR walloped its consensus earnings projection (0.19 actual EPS v. 0.09 expected EPS). Most financials have fallen short of their forecasts.



  • January 27, 2010 - Speaking for the Gold case was Steven Ricchiuto, Managing

    Speaking for the Gold case was Steven Ricchiuto, Managing Director and Chief Economist for Mizuho Securities USA. He was most persuasive in building a case for bearishness. Monetary expansion has glossed over fundamental challenges underlying the financial crisis. Without resolving those troubles, a more polarized political class has exacerbated the problem by introducing moral hazard and shifting the debt burden from private parties to the public.



  • January 27, 2010 - Speaking for the China stock case was Dr. Don Strazsheim,

    Speaking for the China stock case was Dr. Don Strazsheim, CFA, Senior Managing Director and Head of China Research for ISI Group. He argued persuasively that China will be the story for 2010. Cautioning that a narrow path to monetary policy success could disrupt its economy, Dr. Strazsheim was confident that China will become the dominant global economy within a generation.



  • January 27, 2010 - Speaking for the US stock case was Stuart Schweitzer, Man

    Speaking for the US stock case was Stuart Schweitzer, Managing Director and Global Market Strategist for JPMorgan. He pointed to early indications of economic stability. While acknowledging a tough road to recovery, he notes that American economic vitality nearly always starts in advance of rebounding employment.



  • January 27, 2010 - Interesting panel discussion last evening with CFA Societ

    Interesting panel discussion last evening with CFA Society of Columbus. Proposed: you are given a sum of money whereby you may only invest the money entirely in one of three investment choices. Would you choose US stock index, China stock index, or gold?



  • January 26, 2010 - Be sure to consult Hawk100 when evaluating your employee

    Be sure to consult Hawk100 when evaluating your employee benefit options. Hawk100 can help guide your selections to be consistent with your Wealth Alignment Plan.



  • January 25, 2010 - Included in the preceding article from Morningstar is a l

    Included in the preceding article from Morningstar is a link to Bundle which provides interesting insight into personal finance trends.



  • January 25, 2010 - Echoing the opinion long-held at Hawk100, Morningstar pub

    Echoing the opinion long-held at Hawk100, Morningstar published a report yesterday asking simply, will you spend more or less in retirement? New research suggests you might spend more as your consumption shifts from necessary to discretionary expenditures. View article.



  • January 24, 2010 - White House offered further support of Ben Bernanke on th

    White House offered further support of Ben Bernanke on the news shows today according to Dow Jones Newswires. Regardless of whether he will be confirmed, Hawk100 would support Senate efforts to challenge his record and intentions if given a next term.



  • January 23, 2010 - With market declines over last three business days, inves

    With market declines over last three business days, investors are widely questioning whether this is a simple retreat of the bull market or the early signals of an all out bear market.



  • January 22, 2010 - Quoted in today's Columbus Business First,

    Quoted in today's Columbus Business First, "Seminars promising stock secrets lead to fine for area businessman" by Adrian Burns.



  • January 21, 2010 - Taught class this evening covering ethics and standards o

    Taught class this evening covering ethics and standards of professional conduct in the investment profession.



  • January 21, 2010 - Investment Advisor Magazine featured the latest portfolio

    Investment Advisor Magazine featured the latest portfolio management tool used by Hawk100. Delivering Diversification



  • January 21, 2010 - But, don't stay in the pool if it becomes too crowded or

    But, don't stay in the pool if it becomes too crowded or the partnership if it becomes too cumbersome. Your benefits still must outweigh the cost of your investment to add value for you and your family.



  • January 21, 2010 - Visually, you can more easily swim in an Olympic-sized po

    Visually, you can more easily swim in an Olympic-sized pool--occupying a fraction of the space shared with others--than to swim in a backyard baby pool that you have all to yourself.



  • January 21, 2010 - Collaborate where your partners have a higher interest in

    Collaborate where your partners have a higher interest in the outcome than you. Measure and evaluate the success of each partnership.



  • January 20, 2010 - In Grand Rapids, Michigan today for meeting with CFA Soci

    In Grand Rapids, Michigan today for meeting with CFA Society featuring discussion panel on financial regulatory reform. Interesting legislative agenda whereby the bills are being written in advance of the investigative commission conducting its review and report. Cart ... then horse.



  • January 19, 2010 - WSJ is reporting that Scott Brown won the special electio

    WSJ is reporting that Scott Brown won the special election for U.S. Senate seat to represent Massachusetts. Brown Wins Massachusetts Senate Seat, Potentially Upending Obama Agenda



  • January 19, 2010 - Abu Dhabi clarifies its $10B support for Dubai as $5B in

    Abu Dhabi clarifies its $10B support for Dubai as $5B in cash, $5B in loans that it previously committed. The disclosure essentially halves the amount expected by those closely watching the developing story in Dubai. Financial Times



  • January 19, 2010 - Participating in Global Investor Day conference throughou

    Participating in Global Investor Day conference throughout the day. Focus on commodities investments, finance and global tax efficiency. Started at 4ET...a full day.



  • January 18, 2010 - Industrial capacity shrinkage makes the great recession r

    Industrial capacity shrinkage makes the great recession remarkably different than ordinary recessions when utilization of existing capacity declines, but we continue to add productive assets. For capacity to shrink, we destroyed assets at a faster rate than we added new capacity through: purchased property, plant and equipment, employment, technology, and productivity. I guess it's consistent with a world where we pay citizens to destroy working automobiles and encourage factories to consume vast natural resources in the production of replacement vehicles that marginally improve fuel efficiency...all in the name of saving precious environmental resources.



  • January 18, 2010 - The Federal Reserve says industrial CAPACITY DECLINED 1%

    The Federal Reserve says industrial CAPACITY DECLINED 1% for the year since December 2008, as reported by the Wall Street Journal "an ominous sign, ... industrial capacity shrinking as companies hold back on new investment. The U.S. economy's total capacity to produce goods ... was down 1% ... the largest annual decline since record-keeping began in 1967. If the trend persists, it could make the economy more vulnerable to inflation ... and force the Fed to hit the brakes by raising interest rates before the economy has fully healed."



  • January 15, 2010 - I enjoy reading on occasion the manifestos in Change This

    I enjoy reading on occasion the manifestos in Change This. Simple, life lessons that help get us where we want to be. Hawk100 strives to share these lessons for the betterment of its members...here is a taste of what we mean. Brainwashed .



  • January 15, 2010 - SVU continued to hold gains after it reported strong earn

    SVU continued to hold gains after it reported strong earnings earlier this week. We remain optimistic especially at these valuation levels.



  • January 15, 2010 - SAFT and other MA P&C insurers settled with the state AG

    SAFT and other MA P&C insurers settled with the state AG regarding disputed motorcycle premium rates charged during years when state insurance commission set premium rates. Shares recovered in the afternoon to close down $0.28.



  • January 15, 2010 - Health Reform not yet a done deal

    Health Reform not yet a done deal The Health Lady Has Yet to Sing, WSJ Potomac Watch by Kimberly Strassel. Interesting that health sector has outperformed SP500 by 6.4% since 22 Oct 09.



  • January 14, 2010 - Intel's upbeat earnings report and guidance

    Intel's upbeat earnings report and guidance may lead the quarter higher as this tech bellwether forges onward. It's amazing that this maturing company still sustains gross margins of 65%.



  • January 14, 2010 - Dec retail sales were down 0.3% when consensus forecast c

    Dec retail sales were down 0.3% when consensus forecast called for 0.4% increase. Inventories up 0.4%, twice the consensus forecast rate. Both measures could start to spell recession with a "W."



  • January 14, 2010 - We are praying for Haitians suffering through the earthqu

    We are praying for Haitians suffering through the earthquake this week. Among my global contacts is a gentlemen who volunteers with Medical Missionaries www.medmissionaries.org which runs and manages a clinic in Thomassique, Haiti that is playing a key role in relief efforts. Godspeed!



  • January 12, 2010 - Successfully installed Gsphere this weekend to measure an

    Successfully installed Gsphere this weekend to measure and manage true diversification within your Portfolio.



  • January 12, 2010 - Conference call this morning with CFA Institute strategic

    Conference call this morning with CFA Institute strategic planning board oversight committee.



  • January 12, 2010 - SVU reported 2010Q3 EPS of $0.51 diluted. We remain bull

    SVU reported 2010Q3 EPS of $0.51 diluted. We remain bullish on SVU and financial results are in early stages of aligning with our expectations.



  • January 10, 2010 - The TurboTax conundrum. To estimate tax, must load last y

    The TurboTax conundrum. To estimate tax, must load last year data. To do that, you must first load state. State not available until after Jan 15. Estimated payments due Jan 15. What's the sense in that?



  • January 07, 2010 - In weeks before CES, tech stocks have risen 9 of last 12

    In weeks before CES, tech stocks have risen 9 of last 12 years (not 2000, 2005, 2008) and have performed better than in weeks after CES 10 of those 12 years (not 1999 and 2001).