Scarcity of superstars, more leisure time drive up athletes’ salaries

January 23, 2013, by John Norris

This week, I read that Notre Dame linebacker Manti T’eo could lose millions of dollars in future revenue because of a hoax involving an imaginary girlfriend. My questions is: Why does society value athletes so much that he stands to lose more money than most people make in two lifetimes?  As previously published in the Montgomery Advertiser read full article here...http://on.mgmadv.com/WfKcb0 The opinions expressed within this report are those of John Norris as of the initial publication...

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Common Cents for January 11, 2013

January 11, 2013, by John Norris

Over the past week, the concept of the US Treasury selling a $1 trillion platinum coin to the Federal Reserve has gotten a lot of media attention. If you haven’t seen the articles, yes, you read that first sentence correctly. While I don’t think we will ever see said coin, I suppose our financial situation has come to that: $1 trillion coins. Let me type that out to put it into perspective: $1,000,000,000,000. As ridiculous...

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With everything going on in the world, why do the business headlines seem so dull and uninspiring?

January 10, 2013, by John Norris

What do you have against 2 percent economic growth? In all seriousness, you are not alone. The headlines have become somewhat boring, and it isn’t the media’s fault. There are only so many ways to say the same thing over and over. If you are like I am, you probably want to scream every time you read or hear the word uncertainty. Then we had hours upon hours of fiscal cliff discussion, almost to the...

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Common Cents for January 4, 2012…Happy New Year!!!

January 7, 2013, by John Norris

Last night, my wife was playing a song on the piano which I couldn’t remember having heard, but I liked it. So much so, I asked her what it was, and she told me it was from the movie “The King’s Speech.” Hmm. Since I hadn’t heard her play it before last night, I asked her when she had gotten the sheet music. Not that I cared that much; we had simply been out of...

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2012 seems to be doing the exact same thing as 2011: coming in like a lion, and going out like a lamb. Does 2013 prove to be any different? I hope so.

January 4, 2013, by John Norris

At the beginning of the year, I would say the following to anybody who would listen: “if you liked 2011, you are going to love 2012.” While the investment markets have been a little better than last year, the economy is about the same, as is Washington. Very little is as we want it to be; however, things aren’t as bad as we really fear, primarily because we fear the worst. Guess what I am...

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For Sale…1 Stock Exchange,gently used, sold as-is, $8.2 billion OBO

December 28, 2012, by Shelley deClerk

This week, the New York Stock Exchange announced it had agreed to be purchased by a firm named Intercontinental Exchange. Does this mean anything? Will this have any impact on the stock markets? Since Intercontinental Exchange has its headquarters in Atlanta, the New York Stock Exchange became a Southern company this week. In so many ways, that is simply beyond awesome. OK, maybe Atlanta isn’t the most Southern city, but I imagine it is a...

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Common Cents for December 21st 2012

December 28, 2012, by Shelley deClerk

As we approach the end of the 2012, I thought it might be entertaining to take a look back on the year, and maybe make a few predictions about 2013. Obviously, if I could look into the future with crystal clarity, you wouldn't be reading this sentence right now, as I wouldn't have written it. So, take everything below with at least a grain of salt. Thank you for reading Common Cents in 2012, and here is to a...

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Keeping the Public In the Dark

December 20, 2012, by Shelley deClerk

Our elected politicians are currently sparring over tax rates and spending cuts to avoid something popularly called “the fiscal cliff,” as we head into 2013. If the two sides can’t reach a conclusion, all the so-called Bush tax cuts expire, as does the Administration’s payroll tax break. Further, the Congress will have to start cutting spending, or at least cut the growth of deficit spending moving forward. When combined, the US economy is presumably facing...

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Taxes are a necessity for our schools…here’s some number crunching

December 19, 2012, by John Norris

Obviously, the end of the year is fast approaching, and Washington still hasn't hashed out a tax policy yet. What is the likelihood the increase in taxes will drive the economy into recession? We tend to get blinded by the word taxes. While no one likes paying them, there are taxes, and then there are taxes, if you catch my drift. Basically, not all of them are bad, because, we, as citizens, get something tangible for them....

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Common Cents for December 14th 2012

December 17, 2012, by Shelley deClerk

We don’t own a lot of actively managed equity mutual funds at Oakworth. While the statistics suggest active managers, as a lot, have a difficult time beating a passive index like the S&P 500 over time, one of my biggest concerns is the mindset of the portfolio managers. That might sound crazy, so let me explain. Managing an individual client’s money and managing a mutual fund are two different things. While short-term performance is an...

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