How much longer can the stock market keep going up? There has to be a day of reckoning at some point, right?

May 29, 2015, by John Norris

Are you one of those people who looks gift horses in the mouth? Or complains about how the free beer is too cold? I bet you don’t pick up pennies off the ground, am I right? Although 2008 was 7 years ago, it still weighs heavy on our collective mind. That was a painful time, and a lot of folks still haven’t fully recovered. If I had a nickel for every prospective client or person...

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Oakworth Capital Bank named 3rd healthiest bank in the U.S.

May 28, 2015, by John Norris

DepositAccounts.com, one of the largest online consumer banking publications in the country, recently released its annual list of the Top 200 Healthiest Banks in America. Birmingham’s Oakworth Capital Bank ranked 3rd out of the 6,998 federally insured banks evaluated by the publication.

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Some Common Cents for May 22nd 2015

, by John Norris

We talk a lot about risk and return in our industry. The more risk you take, the more return you should expect. That doesn’t mean you take foolish, uneducated risks. However, it does mean you have to expose your portfolio to some volatility if you want to make any real money. Basically, you can’t stick your money in a coffee can and complain about not making any money. On the flipside, you can’t load up...

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Alice B. Womack has joined our team!

May 22, 2015, by John Norris

Oakworth Capital Bank is pleased to announce that Alice B. Womack has joined our team of financial professionals as a Client Advisor. Alice brings over 20 years of financial experience to Oakworth’s client advisor group. She will be focused on providing financial services to high net worth individuals, corporate and professional executives and their families as well as professional small to mid-sized commercial firms and charitable entities.  A very warm welcome to Alice!

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Will cigarette tax increase revenue?

May 19, 2015, by John Norris

A huge chunk of Gov. Bentley's proposed tax increase comes from raising the tax on cigarettes. How effective would this really be on raising revenue? The Governor has proposed increasing the tax on cigarettes by 82.5 cents per pack. Currently, it is 42.5 cents, so the new tax would be $1.25. While still less than the national average, this would be significantly higher than the tax per pack in Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi. In fact,...

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Some Common Cents for May 15th 2015

May 15, 2015, by John Norris

My wife took a girls’ trip to Florida this past weekend, and I asked her to pick up a couple of lottery tickets. Alabama doesn’t have a lottery, and both Powerball and Mega Millions were at least $100 million for the next drawing. Why not, huh? Sure, I know the odds of winning the lottery are about as great as playing quarters with Pope Francis in Saudi Arabia. However, I also know what the odds...

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Ala has lost 8 of 12 Fortune 500 Companies

May 11, 2015, by John Norris

Last week, you took issue with the Unemployment Rate in Alabama, saying it was largely due to a large number of people leaving the workforce. If what you say is true, what is the reason for it? True or not, the government says fewer Alabamians are actively involved in the workforce than they were four years ago. We have to take what Washington gives us at face value, because its data is better than what...

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Some Common Cents for May 8th 2015

, by John Norris

This week, Fed Chairman Janet Yellen gave the investing world a meaty headline when she opined that stocks are overvalued, generally speaking that is. Almost immediately, tongue wagging pundits started comparing her comments to Alan Greenspan’s famous “irrational exuberance” quote. Remember that one? Well, here it is, in case you don’t: “Clearly, sustained low inflation implies less uncertainty about the future, and lower risk premiums imply higher prices of stocks and other earning assets. We...

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State unemployment drop less impressive than it seems

May 7, 2015, by John Norris

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate in Alabama was 10.2 percent in January 2011, the month Gov. Bentley took office. As you wrote, it appears to have been 5.7 percent last month. That is a significant drop in four years, and would suggest a job well done, by someone. However, this is one of those times when the headline is better than the underlying data. (Read the full article previously published...

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Some Common Cents for May 1st 2015

May 4, 2015, by John Norris

Last night, my teenaged son asked me how often I calculate the volume and area of different shapes. Perhaps I should have questioned his question, but I suppose I wasn’t on top of my game or something. I simply replied: “Not all that often, but sometimes I have to do so.” This morning, literally on the way out the door, he asked me to sign a math test the teacher had returned the previous day....

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