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The Independent Investor: Economic Inequality Becomes Campaign Issue
By Bill Schmick,
06:32PM / Thursday, February 13, 2020
As Bernie Sanders takes the lead in the Democratic primary campaign, investors are beginning to take his socialist leanings to heart. But dire warnings from the opposition and Wall Street seem to have little impact. A look at the present income inequality in America goes a long way in explaining why.   Over the years, I have written a number of articles on the growing threat of income inequality and its damage to "the Great Center" — the American middle class. According to a new study by the respected Pew Research organization, over the past 50 years, the highest earning 20 percent of U.S. households have garnered a steadily increasing share of America's

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@theMarket: Central Banks Stem Coronavirus Fallout
By Bill Schmick,
11:48AM / Saturday, February 08, 2020
Financial markets rebounded this week, despite the escalation of the number of coronavirus cases worldwide. The upturn may have surprised some, but their mistake was underestimating the power of central banks to support the markets.   The bear case last Sunday evening was that the Chinese stock market would crater upon opening after being closed for Golden Week, the traditional Chinese New Year. While Shanghai did open down 9 percent, it quickly reversed and spent the rest of the week climbing out of that hole.   The main reason for this rebound was the announcement by Chinese authorities that they were prepared to support their financial markets. Publicly, they

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The Independent Investor: The Great Tax Migration
By Bill Schmick,
01:00PM / Friday, February 07, 2020
Americans have been moving from high tax states to lower tax states for decades.   Climate, cheaper housing prices, less congestion, and jobs are some of the reasons behind such moves. That trend, however, has added taxes to that list, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.   Many of those reasons for moving have been with us ever since Horace Greeley, the American author and newspaper man, reportedly first advised America's youth to "Go west." Back in 19th-century America, the country had embraced the concept of "Manifest Destiny." The Horace Greeleys of the world had argued that it was inevitable, justified, and our God-given

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@theMarket: Coronavirus Correction
By Bill Schmick,
04:43PM / Friday, January 31, 2020
The death toll mounts. The number of cases worldwide builds. Every new update drives the stock market up or down. Where it will end is anyone's guess.   It is called a "geopolitical" event. We suffer through them from time to time. The assassination of Iran's key military leader followed by the Iranian rocket attack on two Iraqi military base that injured dozens of American servicemen was the last such event. We never know when they will occur and, in some ways, these events are simply the price of doing business in the financial markets.   Some market watchers, while recognizing the severity of the coronavirus outbreak, argue that the markets

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The Independent Investor: ESG and the World of Investment
By Bill Schmick,
04:24PM / Thursday, January 30, 2020
Over the last few years, investments that focus on environmental, social, and governance issues, or ESG, have been confused with socially responsible investing or SRI. There is a big difference between the two investment styles.   The simplest way to understand the differences between the two is the profit motive. ESg investments are focused on making money as a primary objective. They do so by identifying specific risks or opportunities now and in the future and investing accordingly. SRI investors, on the other hand, are willing to forego profits in companies that do not meet their ethical standards. They value ethics more than profits in the investment

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