Common Cents Archive

Some Common Cents for May 26th, 2017

May 26, 2017, by John Norris

This week, a reporter friend of mine asked my thoughts on the prospects of traditional banks and credit unions getting into, what can only be called, the payday lending space IF the Administration’s regulatory reform proposals get through the Congress. It seems some banks have made overtures about doing just that, but this is very anecdotal and far from the norm. Frankly, I am kind of professionally ambivalent on the matter, but I still gave...

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Some Common Cents for May 19th, 2017

May 19, 2017, by John Norris

This week, I had a brief discussion with a very bright individual regarding future economic growth and potential investment opportunities in the United States. His comments were in complete alignment with my thoughts: moving forward, there will be two types of companies which will matter: 1) disrupters, which are companies providing technologies, products, and/or services which fundamentally change our lives and how we conduct business, and; 2) base, which are those providing the essentials of...

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Some Common Cents for May 12th, 2017

May 15, 2017, by John Norris

To read the headlines, you would assume the French Presidential election and the Administration’s sacking of Jim Comey as the Director of the FBI were the big stories for the week. However, both were sort of non-events for investors, or should be. First, the French election was basically a foregone conclusion. The issue wasn’t whether Macron would win, as everyone expected he would. The bigger issue was by how much he would win. It was...

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Some Common Cents for May 5, 2017

, by John Norris

Years ago,  I tied myself in knots over little league baseball. Gosh, it seemed so important at the time, and my son was a pretty decent player. However, I resisted the siren song of hiring batting and fielding coaches for my son, despite much advice such things were absolutely necessary for his success. Perhaps he would still be playing the game had I done so. Only The Shadow knows, but I doubt it. My contention...

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Some Common Cents for April 28th, 2017

May 1, 2017, by John Norris

A lot of folks have asked my opinion on the Administration’s tax reform proposals. I think I have surprised them with my less than sophisticated response: anything is better than doing nothing. As the old saying goes, if you are standing still, you are falling behind. In helping run a trust and wealth management department, our Byzantine tax code benefits me professionally. I couldn’t argue otherwise and keep a straight face. Folks will go to...

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Some Common Cents for April 14th, 2017

April 19, 2017, by John Norris

A couple of weeks ago, we raised a little cash in the vast majority of our client accounts. In the grand scheme of things, it was relatively minor across the board. While we would ordinarily send out an email detailing our actions, we didn’t this time as we didn’t want anyone to misprocess our actions as “the sky is falling.” Thus far, the trade has been mostly a wash in terms of overall portfolio performance....

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Some Common Cents for March 3rd, 2017

March 3, 2017, by John Norris

I apologize for not sending out a newsletter last week, but it wasn’t for the lack of effort. The truth of the matter is, at about 3:30 last Friday afternoon, I read what I had been writing intermittently throughout the day, and thought to myself: “Really, Norris? God gave you a brain, an above average ability to express yourself, and some semblance of typing skills AND this is the best you can do?” Oh, it...

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Some Common Cents for February 17th, 2017

February 21, 2017, by John Norris

Perhaps it is a little fitting the movie with the most Oscar nominations this year, with 14, is one entitled “La La Land.” By virtually all accounts, it is more than a fine film, but I will undoubtedly wait for it to come out on Netflix or Amazon Video. While the movie industry had its second best year in history, in nominal terms, in 2016, I haven’t been inside a theater since 2014. I say...

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Some Common Cents for February 10th, 2017

February 13, 2017, by John Norris

Yesterday, I was one of the speakers for what once was called ‘career day’ at my daughter’s high school. These days, the official name is Kaleidoscope or something more catchy along those lines. Regardless, I talked about my job, gave some rudimentary advice, and, believe it or not, fielded a few questions. For my troubles, I got a hug, or three, and a loaf of really delicious banana nut bread. Truthfully, they didn’t have to...

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Some Common Cents for February 3rd, 2017

February 6, 2017, by John Norris

Ordinarily, the Employment Situation report is the biggest piece of news the first Friday of each month. Today, it isn’t, even though the Change in Nonfarm Payrolls was reasonable enough, some 226K net new jobs. So, something else, something big, must have happened, and it did. This morning, President Trump signed an executive order basically reviewing the Dodd-Frank financial system regulatory legislation. Ostensibly, and on its face, this is the proverbial first step in rolling...

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