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The Retired Investor: How Much Are Your Children Worth?
By Bill Schmick,
04:09PM / Thursday, July 30, 2020
In the weeks ahead, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) wants your children to go back to school. They say it is necessary because children need schooling from a social, emotional, and behavioral health perspective. No one disputes that, so why are American parents balking at the idea?   The short answer is that they are afraid for their kids. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that kids in a classroom are "super spreaders" of virus. Just think of what happens during the Flu season each fall and winter    Despite assurances from the CDC that death rates among school-age children are much lower than adults, they don't

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The Retired Investor: The Weakening Dollar
By Bill Schmick,
04:16PM / Thursday, July 23, 2020
Sometimes, investors are so focused on the trees that they miss the forest entirely. Take the U.S. dollar, for example. It has been declining at an alarming rate, yet no one seems to care.   Today, investors are occupied by a number of trees — earnings, stock prices, dividends, earnings results — that a weakening currency is almost an afterthought. Unfortunately, if the dollar continues to weaken, it could radically change your investment choices.    Most readers, in general, believe a strong dollar reflects a strong economy. The fact that it makes our exports more expensive, and imports cheaper, is also true. A strong dollar, in the past, has

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The Retired Investor: Bill & Barbara on Their Retirement Journey
By Bill Schmick,
01:53PM / Friday, July 17, 2020
 
Bill, Barbara and Titus. Dear friends,   Our thoughtful boss, Allen Harris, has asked us to write this letter to tell you all, in our own words, why we are leaving the firm. So, here goes.     Change has its own way of shaping our future. If you had asked me several months ago if I planned to do anything different, either personally, or career-wise over the coming decade, I would have answered with a resounding "no." And then the Pandemic of 2020 came along.   It has forced me, at the not-so-young age of 72, to re-evaluate my priorities. Topping my list is my goal of making the next 30 years

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The Retired Investor: Next Bailout Should Address Job Creation
By Bill Schmick,
04:06PM / Thursday, July 09, 2020
As the COVID-19 virus rages across the nation, Americans are hoping for more assistance from the government on a variety of fronts. So far this month, their hopes have been met with a resounding silence from the White House, although members of Congress are trying to come up with answers that both parties can agree upon. I have a couple of suggestions.    The first round of fiscal and monetary stimulus did a good job in addressing the huge spike in unemployment the country has suffered. While the CARES Act at $2.2 trillion provided $500 billion to distressed industries, almost $350 billion in loans to small businesses and $4100 billion to hospitals, it was the $200

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The Retired Investor: Big Banks & Big Brother
By Bill Schmick,
04:43PM / Wednesday, July 01, 2020
It is an interesting time for bank stocks. In the aftermath of two federal regulatory actions last week, the money-center banks are becoming more public than private institutions.   First the good news. Federal banking regulators announced that they are relaxing provisions of the Volcker Rule, which was an important part of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. Readers might recall that act was passed in the aftermath of the financial crisis. It was meant to prevent another "too big to fail" scenario within the nation's banking system.   A key provision of the act prevented banks from using their own funds to invest in risky assets such as derivatives,

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