Musings & Insights

Some Common Cents for November 20th 2015

November 21, 2015, by John Norris

This week the Pew Research Center (Pew) released a study which claimed more Mexicans returned to Mexico during 2009-2014 than came to the United States, a difference of 140,000. Its data came straight from US Census Bureau estimates for Mexican arrivals and the 2014 Mexican National Survey for Demographic Dynamics. Of course, it would be just about impossible to accurately count every individual traveling around North America under the proverbial radar, but it is an...

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Oakworth Announces New Team In Mobile, Alabama

September 21, 2015, by John Norris

Oakworth Capital Bank is pleased to announce that the following team of professionals has joined our company to serve the South Alabama market: Mr. John Hensley -              Managing Director Mr. Bud Doyle -                   Senior Client Advisor Mr. Tom Roberts -               Senior Client Advisor Ms. Katie Smith -                 Assoc. Managing Dir. Mr. Wade Gordon -             Client Advisor Ms. Michele Stewart -         Client Support Ms. DeEdra Pugh -             Client Support While this team will initially implement...

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How much do you need to retire?

July 27, 2015, by John Norris

What is a good rule of thumb about retirement? How much should I have to not worry about outliving my money? There are too many rules of thumb in the investment industry. You should have this much invested in bonds, or you should be doing this, that or the other thing. Since everyone is different, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all recommendation, so I don’t pay much attention to the old saws. (Read the full article as previously...

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The US Currency (btw…bonus points if you make it to the end of this post)

June 16, 2015, by John Norris

Recently, I have been reading about the impending collapse in the US dollar. The arguments supporting said collapse are compelling, when you take them at face value. However, when you take a step back, you can come to a pretty stark realization: the dollar has been collapsing, for lack of a better word, for a very long time. Currencies are nothing more than a medium of exchange and, arguably, a store of value. Today, there...

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Higher risk necessary for higher profits

April 28, 2015, by John Norris

During the stock market crash in 2008, I couldn't stand all the volatility, and moved my 401K all into the most conservative option we have. I had to admit it, but I sort of forgot about it until my most recent statement came. I feel foolish having left so much money on the table, but what can I do to make it up? Trust me, you are nowhere near alone. If I had a dollar...

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Some Common Cents for April 24th 2015

April 27, 2015, by John Norris

Recently, two quintessential American Brands, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, have made headlines with their struggles to turnaround sluggishness in the key US market. While McDonald’s has gotten most of the ink, the folks at Coke are facing the same primary issue: what appears to be a fundamental change in consumer consumption habits. In so many ways, they can’t just show up any longer, and expect folks to throw money at them. How did it get to...

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Indiana law hurts state businesses

April 8, 2015, by John Norris

This week, Indiana made a lot of headlines with its religious freedom bill. The reaction was almost immediate, and the headlines were overwhelmingly negative. What economic impact would this have had on that state if Indiana hadn’t changed it Thursday? Like maybe a few other Alabamians, I breathed a sigh of relief someone else was on the receiving end of the negative press the national media normally reserves for us. We have long said “Thank...

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Maybe Starbucks should focus on coffee

March 26, 2015, by John Norris

The primary goal of any corporation is to turn a profit. It isn’t much more complicated than that. So, if being more socially vocal results in higher earnings, expect more corporations to be so. If it doesn’t, look for companies to be quiet. I have a friend who went to a James Taylor concert some years ago. If you know anything about Taylor, you know he is a talented musician who is pretty free and...

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Some Common Cents for March 6th 2015

March 6, 2015, by John Norris

On Wednesday, our AT&T U-verse went kaput. Unfortunately, we have the full array of services, meaning we have been without television, broadband, and a landline for a couple of days. Sure, I reset the modem, and did all the various things I read I was supposed to do, but nothing worked. The data was coming into the house, but wasn’t synching, or something like that. I caved, and called the 800 number. A very pleasant...

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Some Common Cents for December 5th 2014

December 5, 2014, by John Norris

Last Saturday night, in the bowels of Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, I told a friend of mine he sounded “ridiculous.” We had been discussing the prospects of UAB football. Better put, I had been discussing the prospects of UAB football, and he had been arguing about its validity. Lets just say he was very much opposed to the Blazers receiving even a penny from the University of Alabama system to spend on its program. His...

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