Some Common Cents for March 3rd, 2017

I apologize for not sending out a newsletter last week, but it wasn’t for the lack of effort. The truth of the matter is, at about 3:30 last Friday afternoon, I read what I had been writing intermittently throughout the day, and thought to myself: “Really, Norris? God gave you a brain, an above average ability to express yourself, and some semblance of typing skills AND this is the best you can do?” Oh, it wasn’t the worst thing I have ever put out there, but it still wasn’t good. So, I simply save the half-finished file, and hit the bricks at the appropriate time.

This week, I have read any number of articles about a so-called bubble in ‘passive investments.’ This has both bemused and frustrated me at the same. The problem I have with the discussion is the use of the word ‘bubble.’ Since I have been around this industry for a long time, I can read between the lines a little. However, most people reading these articles are going to process the word bubble as ‘dot.com’ or ‘sub-prime housing.’ Those of us with gray hair might even harken back to ‘Japanese banking and real estate.’

As a result, what is really a discussion or analysis about the increasing popularity of a particular method of investing becomes a worst case scenario in the mind of the reader, a la 2000-2002 and 2008. I suppose you can say there are bubbles and then there are bubbles.

One of the better columns I read on the matter came from a John Stepek, a writer for MoneyWeek in the UK. Instead of reinventing the wheel, and paraphrasing and plagiarizing in the process, let me simply cut & paste some pertinent parts of his extremely well written article. I freely admit I changed the British spelling of certain words to American (‘Murica Baby): …Read More…

The opinions expressed within this report are those of John Norris as of the initial publication of this blog. They are subject to change without notice, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oakworth Capital Bank, its directors, shareholders, and employees.