The View!

A recap of the week ended October 26th. One of my favorite songs growing up was Elton John’s Crocodile Rock (Side A).  Released in 1973 on a 45 rpm, it was paired with Elderberry Wine (Side B).  Crocodile Rock went to #1 while Elderberry Wine was panned by most critics, forever banished to the Side B junkyard.  Last week, every big story peaked like a #1 hit record capturing the attention of media and public alike.  Meanwhile, over on Side B,  those in the investment community who subscribe to a diversified approach to investing, probably finished the week scratched, unbroken and ready for another spin around the turntable. The A-side During the course of any given week, I try to focus on what seems most important as it relates to the work I, and everyone at Clearview Wealth Management, do for clients.  This typically means tuning in to a few key economic data points, some global geopolitical news and, as a little diversion, a few sports’ stories.  My view being, short term market and news cycles will always be with Read on! →

Tariffs, International Trade and Game Theory

  If you were in charge… If you oversaw your own country, what trade policy would you pursue?  Would you be friendly and cooperative or unfriendly and betraying?  Maximizing your country’s payoff may be more difficult than imagined.  Game theory can be used to measure success and failure.  It can also validate just how hard it can be to strike the right balance and allow both trade partners to win.   The prisoner’s dilemma… The current trade and tariff dialogue between the U.S. and China is essentially a repeated prisoner’s dilemma – a workhorse model of game theory that captures the tradeoff between mutually beneficial cooperation and individually beneficial betrayal[1]. If played once, there is only one outcome where neither side can do better with a different strategy: both sides betray one another.  While unfriendly, the mutual betrayal results in equilibrium or balance.  The shortfall of playing one time as if there is no tomorrow, is that trading partners have an infinite number of days in which to trade goods. If prisoner’s dilemma is played multiple times, even infinitely, game Read on! →

The “Gambler”

  You’ve got to know when to hold’em Know when to fold’em Know when to walk away Know when to run… The Gambler (released 1978), lyrics by Don Schlitz, vocals by Kenny Rogers   Growing up in rural western Kentucky, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that country music stations littered the AM/FM radio dials.  The Gambler received significant air time not only on country stations but also pop stations as the country sound began a “crossover” from its honky-tonk roots to arguably, the more mainstream pop or Top 40 genre.  While our method of following disciplined allocation strategies doesn’t correspond with the chorus, the lyrics do seem to reference the subtleties of reading a situation and taking steps (in a portfolio) that might work to one’s advantage.   The Winning Streak To date, 2017 has been a positive year for equity and bond markets alike.  It is always gratifying to see client portfolios increase in measured increments without the anxiety that often accompanies a sharp peak or a deep, extended valley.  What may be less obvious is the un-harried Read on! →

Scams and Hackers and Safety, oh my!

At Clearview Wealth Management, we take the safety and security of your personal information very seriously.  It is essential in today’s global, wired world to protect yourself and your private information.  As we witness almost every day in the news, scams and hackers continue to threaten the security of our personal information.  Below are some areas to consider when enacting better protection over your personal information.     Password Tips Don’t use combinations of your personal information (names, date of birth, address, zip codes) as these are available to the public online. Use phrases like “I attended 1st grade at Edinboro Elementary in 1999”. For some sites you can use the entire phrase, but if not, you can abbreviate it to something like “Ia1gaEei#1999”. If available, use your fingerprint, key fob or voice recognition as your password. Security of your assets Investment Institutions Secured login to your financial institution website, including complex passwords, security questions and voice recognition security. Signature required for money movements and signature matching technology at custodian site Bi-directional oversight (you can verify our actions through your Read on! →

Fireworks to Celebrate the mid-point of 2017!

  As I write this commentary at the mid-point of 2017, the markets have made steady progress in the first 6 months despite what has been an unpredictable and often concerning geopolitical environment around the world.  I often tell clients and interested parties that unexpected events can have an impact on markets but they are generally short-lived.  At the end of the day, the markets go back to being influenced by companies and their profits.  That seems to be the case so far in 2017 as we get ready to celebrate with July 4th fireworks, even though every week is filled with news about our partisan politics or the latest terrorist incident.   In the U.S., the Federal Reserve (Fed) made good on raising interest rates.  Unemployment is low, workers are producing goods and services and financial markets have responded in-kind.  While somewhat different economic factors are in play, most overseas’ economies and financial markets are outperforming the U.S.  Even bonds, an asset class most felt would lag as the Fed raised rates, have done well on a relative basis.  Read on! →