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@theMarket: Bulls Barrel Through Another Week
By Bill Schmick,
05:21PM / Friday, January 26, 2018
Better quarterly earnings trumped concerns of a declining greenback this week sending all the U.S. stock averages to yet more record highs. There appears to be no end in sight for this continued "melt-up" in the markets.   Over in Davos, Switzerland, President Donald Trump addressed the annual World Economic Forum. For the most part, it was a classic display of "Trumpisms"— MAGA, unfair trading partners, historic stock market.  His "ain't American grand again, thanks to me" message failed to impress most of his foreign audience although his supporters were ecstatic over his speech. But whether you love him, or hate him, "The

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The Independent Investor: There's Nothing Sheepish About the Price of Wool
By Bill Schmick,
05:24PM / Thursday, January 25, 2018
We humans have been using wool for thousands of years. It was the primary clothing material of the middle ages. But even today, new uses for wool are cropping up, driving prices to record highs.   The primary use for wool continues to be in clothing production. The newest demand for this natural material is coming from sport's companies such Nike, Puma and Adidas that are weaving it into sneakers. It appears that a new generation of consumers prefer natural over synthetic fibers. They want to know where their products come from and where they are going.   Even old codgers like me are not immune to this trend. Six months ago, I purchased my first pair of wool

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The Independent Investor: Is Bitcoin Broken?
By Bill Schmick,
05:14PM / Thursday, January 18, 2018
Bitcoin, Ethreum, Ripple and a number of other crypto currencies have had a terrible week. Some of these digital dollars have lost 25 percent overnight, if not more. Today Bitcoin, itself, is down almost 50 percent from that level. Those who warned that this mania would come to a tragic end are crowing now. Are they right?   Last July, I wrote my first column on the phenomena of crypto currencies. Since then, Bitcoin vaulted to historic highs, briefly touching $20,000 on Dec. 17. Since then clients, friends, relatives and yes, even my mother-in-law, have asked me if I thought crypto currencies were a good investment.   The answer will always depend on the price

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@theMarket: Melt-Up Continues
By Bill Schmick,
11:53AM / Saturday, January 13, 2018
It's been the best two weeks for the U.S. markets in decades. Investors seemingly can't get enough stocks in their portfolios, no matter how high the indexes climb. Ain't it grand?   Over the past few weeks, I have explained in detail that the stock market is in "melt-up" mode. You may think it's crazy, or that the gains are a result of excessive exuberance. You may even be sitting there with your arms crossed, pointing your finger at me and predicting this is all going to end badly for investors. That's fine, provide as many opinions as you like, but stay invested in the meantime.   Some ask me how you can have the U.S. dollar

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The Independent Investor: The Cost of MAGA
By Bill Schmick,
06:46PM / Friday, January 12, 2018
It is the guiding principle behind the Trump administration, but to "Make America Great Again" the U.S. may have to break some eggs. Are you ready for that?   "MAGA" is much more than a marketing gimmick. Almost every day, we uncover additional evidence of how the President and his supporters in Congress are dismantling regulations, taxes, and on the foreign front, trade deals.   For example, while the president professes to have "a great relationship" with China and admires its president, Xi Jinping, at the same time, he is working behind the scenes to apply more pressure to our sometime-friend,

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