• Sharks and Vending Machines

    By: Edison Byzyka, CFA

    Sociology was one of my favorite courses in college.  Not only did my professor make the topic intriguing but the overall study of sociology possessed a balanced understanding of how people should act relative to how they actually act.  In a nutshell, our professor told us that we’re all irrational people that will make poor decisions in our life, financial or otherwise.  Realizing that fact at a younger age was rather sobering given that it’s impossible for human beings to be completely rational at all times of their lives.  Even the most pronounced PhD’s will confess to being irrational at times.  It’s called being a human.  The study of sociology tries to further solve the question of why we do certain things that we know are likely poor decisions.  It turns out that we, as humans, tend to ...

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  • The Many Phases of Tax Reform

    The potential for tax reform was once again a dominant talking point throughout the week as market participants appeared slightly less optimistic.  The lack of notable enthusiasm was expressed in the form of selling pressure within small capitalization equities in the U.S.  The Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 600 small cap index declined by 0.77% for the week compared to a marginal 0.14% decline from the large cap S&P 500.  As we have mentioned numerous times in the past, smaller companies within the U.S. tend to rely more so on domestic consumers than those from abroad, which makes them significantly more susceptible to domestic tax consequences (i.e. they don’t have the luxury of stashing away $252 billion in zero tax rate havens in Ireland, similar to what Apple is currently doing).  Given the downside we saw during the week, it’s very important ...

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  • Inflation Over Time

    A modest 2% inflation can severely lower the value of your assets over the long-term. Higher equity exposure over longer market cycles has historically been an effective way to combat the risk of inflation. Internally, we envision a period of inflationary pressures north of 2% over the next decade. Full employment, coupled with expansionary fiscal policies, may fuel such an outcome.

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