Pragmatic Capitalism

Practical Views on Money, Finance & Life

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How the GOP Lost A Slam Dunk Election

If Donald Trump’s poll numbers are right then it’s looking like my prediction that he’ll win the 2017 Election is very wrong. And the question becomes, how did a slam dunk election turn into such a catastrophic loss for the GOP? And yes, this should have been a slam dunk. In a world of populist… Read More

Do the Financial Markets Prefer Clinton or Trump?

I recently got an email from someone who said they were going to sell all of their stocks until after the election was settled. They think that Clinton will win and that her “tax and spend” policies will cause interest rates to skyrocket which will crash the stock market. He says he will then “reinvest… Read More

Three Reasons I Bought a New Home

If I’ve seemed unusually busy in the last 6 weeks there’s a good excuse for that – we bought a new house. Our first house, actually. As a Southern Californian I’ve never been convinced by the financial benefits of owning a house. After all, buy/rent comps in this area tend to be similar to those of… Read More

Chart of the Day: Golden Era of Low and Stable Growth

One of the dominant themes in economics these days is that low growth means we are worse off. Some people call this “secular stagnation” or something similar. I’ve challenged this view and say this doesn’t account for how stable our economy has become. In other words, it doesn’t adjust for the risks we face. You see,… Read More

Do Trump’s Taxes Matter?

The release of a 1995 Donald Trump tax return could become the turning point of the 2016 Presidential Election.  But how much does this really matter?  Let’s do some Q&A on the topic just for fun.  I’ll pretend to be an unbiased observer and we’ll let an equally unbiased observer, say, Vladimir Putin, interview me.  Here’s… Read More

Bull Markets are the Hardest Part

There are two difficult times to be an investor – when the market goes up and when it goes down.¹ We all know the difficulty of the bear market. It usually works something like this: We think markets will go up for some reason. Markets go down. Markets go down a lot more than we’re comfortable… Read More

The Problem with Modern Banking

When it comes to free markets and competition I am always more inclined to side with the idea that competition is a good thing that drives a more efficient outcome than bureaucratically managed markets. At the same time, we have to recognize that some degree of government is a good thing. There are, after all,… Read More

21 Questions….

The good people over at Guru Focus did a nice Q&A covering 21 questions that you may or may not find interesting. It’s pretty short and painless so you won’t endure too much agony reading it if you choose to: How and why did you get started investing? What is your background? Like most people, I… Read More

Why I Prefer to Think of Stocks as Bonds

Bonds have always struck me as fairly simple instruments. In general, you know what a (high quality) bond’s return will be and you know what its time horizon is. That makes investing in fixed income instruments much simpler than investing in stocks. After all, the most difficult part about the stock market is that you… Read More