Format: Blogs

Gaining Independence

With an 11‐year‐old boy at home, my wife and I spend a fair bit of time teaching him how to become more independent. Of course, the path to his independence is fraught with peril, and he routinely makes decisions that result in consequences which cause him to lose some of what he is trying[...]

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The Long View

Earlier this week we received updated measures of industrial production. These are closely watched data points because they provide insight into whether or not the economy is picking up steam. Beneath the headline numbers is interesting information that may shed light on the U.S. economy's acce[...]

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Not Your Father’s Labor Market

My father was a manufacturing manager in Milwaukee during his entire career. During the late 1980s, the lighting manufacturer he worked for closed plants that had been running in Milwaukee for more than 70 years and moved production to Mississippi and South Carolina. After examining the opportunity [...]

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Bricks in the Wall of Worry

Investors are a fickle bunch. Here we are, facing a year of potential record earnings and all‐time high profit margins, and stock investors are nervous. It is said that those investors climb a “wall of worry” when bidding stock prices higher. The key bricks in that wall now appear t[...]

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Earnings Season Arrives

Since Dec. 31, we have been anticipating the beginning of the first quarter earnings report season. Expectations are high for corporate earnings growth in 2018, and the first quarter reports will provide a picture into how companies are growing revenue and profit as well as benefitting from tax refo[...]

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Which Glass Is It?

Investor sentiment is a fickle thing. Over longer periods, stock prices reflect the fundamentals of company performance, i.e., revenue and earnings growth, as well as profit margin expansion or contraction. However, on any given day, how investors feel about the prospects for those fundamentals can [...]

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Doves, Hawks and Robins

Spring is here! Unless of course you are living through your 4th nor'easter in the last month, in which case you'll have to wait. Here in Wisconsin, robins are back in the yard. Yesterday's news from the Federal Reserve Bank came with an increase in interest rates and a debate about w[...]

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Jobs and the Economy

Last Friday, the jobs report was released and, by most measures, it was great news. Jobs rose by 313,000 and the unemployment rate remained near 4%. This was the strongest report in 18 months, leading many to believe that the stock market correction was much ado about nothing. In fact, as of [...]

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The Fiscal Combine

It's NFL Combine week, the time when college football prospects have an opportunity to showcase their talents for scouts across the league. Quarterbacks are one of the most watched groups because they represent the future leadership of NFL teams. They are tested for speed, throwing accuracy and[...]

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The Inflation Boogeyman

As volatility has returned to stock and bond markets, investors are looking for reasons to be optimistic or fearful. The topic dominating the fearful group is inflation. Investors and consumers alike abhor inflation because it eats into investment returns and income through rising prices. Today we'l[...]

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