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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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@theMarket: FOMO Infects Investors
By Bill Schmick,
04:55PM / Friday, January 24, 2020
The stock market is frothy. The great gains that investors experienced last year are extending into this year. As the indexes climb, more and more of those on the sidelines are jumping in. Is this a good sign?   No, it isn't. "The Fear of Missing Out," or FOMO is rearing its greedy head on Wall Street. Those who may have raised some cash in the past few months, fearing a trade war, or the impeachment proceedings, have watched the portfolios underperform the averages, ignore all the negative news and climb higher.   On the geopolitical front, we have seen the same thing. Selling on fear of an Iranian response to the killing of one of their heroes

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The Independent Investor: Intellectual Property Has Not Always Been So Important
By Bill Schmick,
04:33PM / Thursday, January 23, 2020
America's intellectual property (IP) is worth more than $6.6 trillion and employs 45 million Americans and hundreds of millions more worldwide. It is estimated that IP-intensive industries account for one-third of the country's total Gross Domestic Product and 52 percent of U.S. merchandise exports. It is why we, as a country, are fighting so hard to protect these rights today.   The figures above come from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. If anything, they understate the value of IP to all of us. So what, exactly is IP? Generally, it is any product of the human intellect that the law protects from unauthorized use by others. Inventions, literary and artistic works,

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@theMarket: Fed Stimulus Continues to Pump the Markets
By Bill Schmick,
04:59PM / Friday, January 17, 2020
When asked, the members of the Federal Reserve Board continue to argue that the almost $500 million they have pumped into the overnight repurchase market since September is not quantitative easing. The stock market disagrees.   "Not QE" is the term most often used by the Street in describing this fairly hefty expansion of the central bank's balance sheet. Because the purchases that the Fed is making are categorized as debt instruments that mature in 12 months or less, they escape the hard and fast definition of what the Fed labels as quantitative easing. QE is the purchase of longer-dated maturities of debt instruments, so the Fed is technically

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