The BLS’s U.S. January jobs report was released this morning and it includes not only the latest monthly jobs numbers, but also benchmark revisions. We regard this jobs report as a fairly positive one, but for reasons which are different than those cited by most economists. First, we dismiss the unemployment rate altogether. The unemployment… Read more

Matthew Fienup & Dan Hamilton (Original post 12/13/19, edits 12/15/19) The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its annual Metro GDP dataset yesterday which provides economic growth figures for our regional economy.  The release includes a new Ventura County GDP growth estimate for 2018 as well as significant, and truly surprising, revisions to the… Read more

An index fund is a portfolio that aims to mimic as possible a designated index, generally a broad-based stock or bond index.  For example, some of the most popular index funds target the Standard and Poor’s index of 500 large stocks.  The SP500 is a market capitalization weighted index.  This means that the weight of… Read more

This is from our First Annual LDC U.S. Latino GDP Report which was published on Thursday, September 26th, at the L’Attitude Conference in San Diego: Executive Summary This report seeks to provide a factual view of the large and growing economic contribution of Latinos living in the United States. In order to do this, we… Read more

Phil Fisher is widely credited with being the father of growth stock investing.  He started an investment partnership in 1931 and ran it for 60 years.  He wrote the book Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and advocated running a very concentrated portfolio of no more than five stocks. Phil’s son Ken started his investment management… Read more

We have used this space repeatedly over the past several years to criticize Federal Reserve policy and the significant impacts that it is having on the U.S. economy. As we wrote in June of 2017, “U.S. monetary policy is among the greatest of internal risks to U.S. economic growth.” And in December of 2018, “Extraordinary… Read more

John Bogle died earlier this year at the age of 89.  According to legendary investor Warren Buffett, Bogle created more wealth for investors than anyone else in history.  A few years ago, I wrote an essay about John Bogle and the company he founded – Vanguard.  Here is a brief excerpt John C. (Jack) Bogle… Read more

One of the top performing companies for the past fifty-plus years has been Berkshire Hathaway (stock symbol BRKA), managed the entire time by Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett.  BRKA is a holding company with wholly owned stakes in operating companies (for example, See’s Candies) and stock investments in other public companies (for example, Wells Fargo… Read more

According to founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the long-term future for Amazon is that it will fail one day. In one sense, this statement is not remarkable.  Nothing is forever.  Eventually, every company will fail (except, maybe, too-big-to-fail banks).  But I wonder what this says about the buy and hold investment strategy.  After all, if… Read more

Previously published in the 2018 Quarter 4 US Economic Forecast – December 19, 2019 For years, we have been telling anyone who will listen that extraordinary policy experimentation undertaken by the Federal Reserve during the darkest days of the financial crisis remains a major impediment to robust economic growth for the nation. Facing economic meltdown… Read more

The January 4 Federal Reserve Chairs Joint Interview panel at the largest and most prestigious economics conference in the country was a standing room only affair with a massive media presence.  I got there fifteen minutes early and almost did not get a seat.  New York Times senior economics correspondent Neil Irwin provided an early… Read more

Late on a Sunday night in September of 2008 the third largest investment bank in the US, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.  The filing followed failed efforts to find a buyer for the company, an equity investor, or to convince the Federal Reserve to extend credit.  The immediate cause was a “run” by private creditors… Read more

My last few essays have focused on the 10% upper tail of the wealth or income distribution.    People generally acknowledge that the top ten percent are doing great.  Perhaps this is true by definition.  If they were doing poorly, they would not be in the top 10%!  What about the other 90%?  Let’s start with… Read more

I’ve argued in the past that wealth acquisition is a good thing (provided it does not arise from theft or fraud).  There are several reasons for this.  The most obvious is that spectacular wealth generally arises from spectacular success of an entrepreneurial venture, which almost by definition means the creation of some great new product… Read more