Minimum Wage Experiment

It is a statement that many will disagree with but in my opinion it is the truth. A minimum wage has no place in a free market and it will do more harm than good. Back in 2015 the city of Seattle began an experiment. They decided to give in to the popular demand sweeping the nation and raise their local minimum wage well above the Federal standard. The raise would happen over many years and eventually hit $15 an hour. A couple years later and the shock waves from this decision are already being felt. Continue reading “Minimum Wage Experiment”

Ups and Downs

The markets this year could be described with one word, stability. We’ve seen very little in the way of volatility. Even when bad news has consumed the headlines, markets have shrugged said news off and continued their upward climb. This is very different, if not bizarre, behavior for the markets. Usually when bad news of any kind starts coming out, even if it is an unproven rumor, the markets tend to react creating what we call volatility. A popular measure of volatility is the VIX index and earlier this month it hit its lowest level since 1993. What could possibly rock this boat? Continue reading “Ups and Downs”

Millennials and Consumer Debt

I firmly believe that debt is the greatest risk that consumers, businesses and governments face right now. From my viewpoint all three groups are overextend but it hasn’t stopped them. They keep racking up more and more debt while seemingly oblivious to the consequences. I’ve written a lot of articles about debt and today I have another one for you. At the end of the day, the increase in debt doesn’t have to continue. It can stop today and it starts with you saying enough is enough. Continue reading “Millennials and Consumer Debt”

Parallel Universe, True Stewardship

If your a fan of television shows such as Dr Who or Star Trek you know what a parallel universe is. It is an alternative existence to what is currently happening. It is a reality that co-exists with your own current existence. This concept is the best way that I know of to describe how our Christian walk effects our finances. There are two competing economies, Earth and God. They are polar opposites and yet they co-exist at the same time. As Christians we start life out by living in the former but we are called to focus on the latter. Continue reading “Parallel Universe, True Stewardship”

It’s Finally Over

You know what I’m talking about, the elections. No matter how you feel about your local, state and federal elections, the fact of the matter is, they finally all are over for this year. I’m pretty sure I just heard the entire US cheer but any polls you read would defiantly show the opposite. I know, it was a bad joke but I’m not even going to delve into politics with this post. What I will delve into is something I’ve been talking about since I started this blog and it’s something I will be talking about for a very long time. Continue reading “It’s Finally Over”

Where to Now

If you haven’t heard about it elsewhere, you can read about here on my blog. Stocks are overpriced compared to historical metrics. One big reason for this has been an earnings recession that has continued to drag on. The S&P 500 index has seen year over year earnings decline for five straight quarters. These declines haven’t been massive like the ones during the recession but it is not good that prices were rising while earnings were declining. I do believe there are some glimmers of hope on the horizon but not everything is clear quite yet. Continue reading “Where to Now”

Debt Status

A few days ago the IMF came out with an updated number for our worldwide debt. The world has amassed $152 trillion worth of debt. So much for the notion that the world can’t work together on anything. We have succeeded at racking up amounts that won’t be able to be paid off for generations, if ever. Public and private debt accounted for over 200% of all global output last year. If that wasn’t enough, there is an even more shocking number lying in these numbers. Continue reading “Debt Status”

Fed Up

The Fed has decided yet again not to raise rates. Although, there is growing dissent ever where you look, even inside the Fed itself. Depending on who you ask, you will hear many different ideas on what should be done or should’ve been done. At the end of the day we are in uncharted waters. We’ve been experimenting with policies that have never been used before or at least not on the scale they are being used now. Continue reading “Fed Up”

The Ups and Downs

The week following the Brexit vote the markets initially bottomed out. Then only a few days later they rebounded in astounding fashion. Since those initial two weeks, markets have been steady. Every piece of news has been lackluster. Some good, some bad but mostly just average. The markets have responded with very little movement in either direction and trading has been low. This came to a halt yesterday when the US markets dropped anywhere from 2 to 2 ½ percent. But the question is why? Continue reading “The Ups and Downs”