As I decompress this Summer vacation, I have had some time to think about what we have seen the past year.  There’s been a lot of innovation and silly/simplistic as that may sound.  It seems that no profession is safe from Silicon Valley.

For years we denigrated vocations.  Despite being somewhat lucrative, becoming a plumber was looked down upon. Now, in an economy so heavily weighted towards services that are being automated/outsourced…it makes one wonder:  Maybe a vocation is not so bad after all.

A while back a company called Upstart focused on making loans to students who showed great promise.  They have since changed to a P2P loan model.  David Girouard is their CEO.  I spoke with him one time about this at a hedge fund event in San Francisco in early 2014.  The data he had was remarkable…most folks shouldn’t go to college at all.  They never get beyond the student debt given their wages.  Makes one wonder again…maybe a plumber is not so bad after all.  They cannot automate that. 

Look no further than Disney to see what a PR disaster it could be when outsourcing goes horribly wrong.

Are you bullish about the market?  Then you are in the minority.  All of the money managers I respect are concerned about the market.  I know…I am contradicting the “buy and hold” mantra we all know so well.  But when Sweden’s largest money manager is quietly dumping stocks “ahead of the herd, I worry.

In the time I have taken vacation, I have not seen/heard one bullish argument from anyone.  Instead, I have been seeing/hearing a lot with regards to higher rates and the implications for the HELOCs out there in the USA.  Mortgage resets will be difficult for the consumer to bear. 

So, with a Fed signaling higher rates, and smart money leaving the market it might be time to reconsider what your portfolio is up to.  If you want to take advantage of some “virtual advice” feel free to contact one of our affiliated wealth managers now by clicking here.  See what they have to say.

Reminds me of an old book I recommended some years ago: Willful Blindness.  Are we there again?

As I drove through California the drought was so OBVIOUS.  Everyone is talking about it, yet no one is doing anything.  They cannot change the water levels, but they can move to the water.  Why wait?   Below is a photo from a California golf course I used to play at regularly.  It used to be exceptionally look at it:

Brown, brown, brown...

Brown, brown, brown...

But, as we visited friends the allure of California did sink in.  Maybe that is the problem…it is too beautiful and the senses refuse to accept the change.  Nevertheless, I always enjoy the Bernat wines.  Full disclosure, I know the winemaker personally, so I am biased.  But they are good.  Here’s the link to Sam and Shawnda’s site and tell them I sent you over!

Bringing it full circle, I don't see a computer disintermediating the vineyard...famous last words?

On that note, let’s get ready for the weekend!