We have been writing this newsletter for 25 years now. We are not market forecasters. We don’t try to tell you when to buy or when to sell. We are long-term investors, almost always fully invested. We help clients decide on an appropriate level of risk, stocks versus bonds versus cash, and then we stick […]
Forget about success. Try “lying flat.”
There’s a new movement taking hold among China’s 20- and 30-somethings, and it’s absolutely antithetical to the way they grew up. Indoctrinated since birth to believe that hard work and intense drive were the only paths forward, they have been competing fiercely all their lives for top university spots, good jobs, and later, the best […]
Will there be a world without work?
In 1930, the economist John Maynard Keynes wrote a short essay called “Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren,” where he envisioned technological advances enabling us to do all the work of agriculture, mining, and manufacturing with only a quarter of the human effort. Future generations, he said, would work only 15 hours a week. In fact, […]
The case for rising productivity in the U.S.
For most of the past 15 years, the U.S. has suffered from a productivity problem. Except for a spike after the 2009 Financial Crisis, productivity gains have been stuck at 1% per year over the past decade, or half the long-term average. Why does this matter? Economies that produce more with the same number of […]
The Next Tool in the Tool Chest
Historically, the U.S. economy has grown about 3% a year. But since 2008, there has been a marked downshift to the 1%-2% range. How best to get the patient up and out of bed? Growing the nation’s workforce would spur economic growth but the prospects here appear limited due to our low birth rates and […]
How do we know Japan’s economy is brightening? From the secondhand market for luxury handbags
Japanese women are using their luxury handbags for a savvy currency play. Photo Source Komehyo The economic mood in Japan is brightening and consumer confidence is way up. That is the word anyway from Takuji Ishihara — not an economist but the president of Komehyo, a well known dealer in secondhand high-end handbags. Working across from […]