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The Retired Investor: What's That Smell?
By Bill Schmick,
04:30PM / Thursday, July 22, 2021
Imagine opening your laptop or cell phone and catching a whiff of your favorite perfume. Scroll back to last summer's Maine vacation photos and smell the pine forest at your campsite. Digital scent technology can make that happen sooner than you think.   Digital scent technology, also called olfactory technology, is an engineering discipline that enables media, such as video games, movies, music and Web pages, to sense, transmit, and receive scent-enabled content. Simply put, the day when you can smell through the internet is almost upon us.   The market is tiny right now, with less than $20 million in sales, but it is expected to grow substantially by the

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The Retired Investor: China's Red Hand of Regulation
By Bill Schmick,
04:21PM / Thursday, July 08, 2021
Over the past several decades, investors, investing in China, have gotten used to the dichotomy of China's Communist-run, centralized government and its free-for-all stock market. That situation appears to be ending.   The latest (and most controversial) sign of China's increased interest in regulating and extending control of its largest companies came over the weekend. Fresh off the heels of a global $4.4 billion initial public offering, Didi, China's ride-hailing giant, was ordered to cease accepting new users, and to close down its app by China's internet regulators.   By midweek, the newly, U.S.-listed share price of Didi fell by well over

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The Retired Investor: Will SALT Be Repealed?
By Bill Schmick,
04:03PM / Thursday, July 01, 2021
The state and local tax cap, called SALT, has been the bane of many high-tax states since its passage as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It created an effective tax hike for many high earners in high tax states, as well as many middle-class workers. That may be about to change, at least for some income earners.   Last week, the Senate Budget Committee, chaired by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, presented a draft outline of a $6 trillion budget resolution. It included $120 billion for SALT relief over five years. Readers may recall that the controversial tax placed a $10,000 cap on the amount taxpayers could deduct from their federal income tax in state and local taxes.

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The Retired Investor: Beware the Delta Variant
By Bill Schmick,
04:01PM / Thursday, June 24, 2021
Airplanes are full, parkways are bumper to bumper, and restaurants are packed. The summer is in full swing, and for many, the coronavirus is a thing of the past. Let's hope it stays that way.   The last thing I want to do is spoil the re-opening party. Afterall, we deserve to feel good, go out, meet family and friends without a mask, even chance a hug now and then. The one fly in all of our ointments may be the onset of an extremely contagious, and virulent coronavirus mutation dubbed the "delta variant."   You have probably read about this super bug and its devastating impact on the population of India. It was first detected in that country in

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The Retired Investor: Chlorine, Cars and the Supply Chain Challenge
By Bill Schmick,
04:35PM / Thursday, June 17, 2021
Supply chain shortages are showing up across the nation. Some items, such as chlorine for America's pools and used cars, just illustrate a lesson we need to learn.    The chlorine shortages illustrate why supply chains are so important and how fragile they can be when faced with something as devastating as the pandemic. Last year, when lockdowns kept most Americans hunkered in their homes, an enormous home improvement wave swept through the country. Demand for home offices on the inside, and new recreational improvements on the outside, skyrocketed.   Gazebos, firepits, and swimming pools were just some of the items that consumers decided would make

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