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The Retired Investor: SPAC Attack
By Bill Schmick,
12:37PM / Friday, February 26, 2021
One of the hottest trends on Wall Street today is "special purpose acquisition companies" or SPACS. There is hardly a day that goes by without an announcement of a new SPAC, or the acquisition and merger of a private company by one.   It works like this. Even though they are called "companies," SPACs have no commercial operations, no sales, profits, or losses. All they have is a pile of cash. They received that money from investors in an initial public offering (IPO) with the promise that they would invest that money down the road into a private company with good prospects.   You are basically giving a blank check to a group of financial pros

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The Retired Investor: Clubhouse Comes of Age
By Bill Schmick,
04:09PM / Thursday, February 18, 2021
The latest entrant into the social media orbit is an audio-only chat app called Clubhouse. The internet company had a $1 billion valuation before it had a business plan. That is even more surprising since membership is by invitation-only.   On Jan. 24, 2021, the company announced its latest $100 million fundraising effort, and for the first time presented a rough sketch of how it plans to start generating sales. Its Silicon Valley founders, Paul Davidson and Rohan Seth, are hoping to offer paid subscriptions, ticketed events, and other schemes to turn the site profitable.   You need to know an existing member in order to get an invite to join Clubhouse. Once you

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The Retired Investor: Gambling, the Vice We Love
By Bill Schmick,
04:04PM / Thursday, February 11, 2021
The pandemic has altered the behavior patterns of many Americans. It has also forced states to re-examine their thinking in several areas, especially in taxation and spending. One of the biggest winners in this process appears to be gambling.   Clearly, with most of the nation's leisure activities shut down, more and more Americans are looking for something to occupy their time. At the same time, thanks to massive losses in tax revenues, states are scrambling for ways to make ends meet. Sports and other forms of online gambling are an easy answer to shoring up state budgets, while satisfying the consumer's demand for more action in this burgeoning leisure

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The Retired Investor: The Business of Space
By Bill Schmick,
06:11PM / Thursday, February 04, 2021
Space! It holds the promise of riches beyond our wildest dreams -- solar systems bursting with precious resources ripe for the taking. Just the idea of such prizes has set off a frenzied rush by global business entrepreneurs to claim stakes in this new frontier.   The private sector has increasingly pushed aside governments and their contractors in a frenzied bid to develop commercial space exploration. At the same time, using all their cost-cutting prowess to reduce the cost of putting people and objects into orbit, and that is only the first step.   This year, for example, there are three separate missions to Mars, which are scheduled to arrive in

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The Retired Investor: Make Way for the Retail Investor
04:59PM / Thursday, January 28, 2021
By now, you may have realized that this is not your father's stock market, nor will it ever be again. An entirely new army of investors have arrived on the scene with different attitudes, values, and beliefs. You can either hop on this train or be left behind.   Back in the day, burnt by the Financial Crisis of more than a decade ago, many investors decided to forsake the stock market, embracing bonds instead. Over that time, Americans amassed a $3 trillion in savings and 94 percent of that money went into bonds. Those bond buyers have had a good run, but all good things must come to an end.   Most fixed income investors are scrapping the bottom of the

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