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Pragmatic Capitalism

Capital for Living a More Practical Life

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Let the Ball Come to You

I sucked at baseball when I was younger. It wasn’t because I was physically incapable of playing baseball.¹ It was mainly because I was undisciplined and tried to do too much. For instance, I was a decent right handed hitter, but I spent half my time practicing left handed. I had this infatuation with being… Read More

Yes, Getting Rid of the Debt Ceiling is Smart

There are reports going around this morning that Trump wants to eliminate the debt ceiling. Here’s what I said about this 5 years ago: As a fully autonomous currency issuer the US government has no legitimate limit in its ability to finance its own spending. There is no such thing as the USA not being able to… Read More

Let’s Talk About Shrinkage (Again)

I’ve got shrinkage on the mind again. Maybe I’ve spent too much time in cold water this summer or maybe it’s just me getting old? I don’t know, but I do know that it’s becoming an increasingly important discussion as the Fed discusses its future policy options. I’ve talked about how the Fed will unwind its… Read More

Three Things I Think I Think – Disaster Edition

Here are some things I think I am thinking about: 1.   Floyd Mayweather – Maybe not such a financial disaster? Floyd Mayweather didn’t follow my financial advice. He was, predictably, MUCH better than Conor McGregor at boxing. Actually, I’d say Conor surpassed expectations. But Floyd is Floyd. He’s the best ever. And he proved… Read More

Financial Planning for Floyd Mayweather

There’s this big fight this weekend between undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather and MMA Champ Conor McGregor.  They’re reportedly earning a combined $175 million +. It’s the biggest fight ever. On paper it looks like a no-brainer. Mayweather is the best boxer maybe ever. If you’ve watched him fight before it is breathtaking. The guy will go… Read More

Let’s Talk About Bond Fund Redemptions

Some of the bond pickers of the world were not very happy with my recent post talking about how bond funds are generally safer than owning individual bonds.¹ The most common response I saw was similar to this comment on Seeking Alpha about the risk of redemptions: Beyond diversification, you have the impact of potentially… Read More

Are Individual Bonds Safer than Bond Funds?

The WSJ was out with a piece discussing outflows from DoubleLine’s Total Return Bond fund this week. One of the reasons for the outflows was cited as the lack of safety in a bond fund: Among those bailing are individual investors, who helped fuel the fund’s growth but can be quicker than institutions to pull… Read More

Robo Advisors Don’t Beat Traditional Index Funds

Robo Advisors are all the rage these days. They’re heralded as being superior to other investment services because they use automation to streamline the asset allocation process. This is certainly true when compared to high fee active mutual funds, but the benefit of a robo is far less clear when compared to traditional passive index… Read More

Why I’m Not Worried About Household Debt

The NY Fed released a new update on household debt today showing record levels. Now, at first glance you might be inclined to say “holy cow Batman, we’re on the brink of another 2008 repeat!” Well, not so fast though. When we look at a balance sheet we have to first look at both sides… Read More