Janet Bio Photo

INSIGHTS

Investment News and Opinion

 

A Most Wonderful Time of the Year circa 2017

Posted 2017 Dec 20

 

The decorations are up, the lights turned on and the shopping almost complete! We are in full Holiday mode right now celebrating Hanukkah, with Christmas just around the corner.

Santa and MeMuch like this cartoon – the markets, Washington and the Fed are as good as they can be without destroying their/our way of life.

Wall Street and Washington are in the Christmas spirit and sending glad tidings to all.

The markets are looking ahead 12-18 months and they like what they see. So far this year, stocks continue to set new highs with relatively low volatility. We are in fact closing in on a possible record of 12 for 12 months with positive returns for 2017.

Washington is actually helping on two important fronts – interest rates and taxes.

Janet Yellen and the Fed voted mid month to raise short term interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point from 1.25% to 1.5%. As noted in Barron’s, Janet said ‘Stocks are elevated but when we look at other indicators of financial stability…there is nothing flashing red or even orange.”

And just as importantly, as I write this note, Washington is scheduled to vote on its proposed tax plan in the next few days. If passed, look for it to be signed into law by the end of this year. Stay tuned!

As we close out 2017, I hope that you and your families will enjoy this most wonderful time of the year and that you will continue to live your life just exactly the way you’d like.

From my family to yours, our very best wishes for a Happy Hanukkah, a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy & Healthy New Year.

The Perfect Summer

Posted 2017 Aug 18

Perfect Summer

 

The Perfect Summer

I received a catalog recently with this title. It made me wonder if this is a perfect summer and, what’s perfect? I am happy to report that I’ve had many perfect summers. In fact, I can’t think of any summers that haven’t been perfect.

I remember wonderful summers growing up in Chicago; almost daily trips to Rainbow Beach, root beer floats on the front porch, Cubs and White Sox games and endless bike riding, running through sprinklers, roller skating and playing until the street lights came on.

One summer I spent taking college classes. With a thank you to Dr. Gordy Taylor who challenged us in his Business Management class and with a lot of studying, I had my perfect GPA that semester.

The years & so many wonderful memories fly by. I think of all the fun and all the road trips with our sons, and now our trips to visit them in Colorado & Minnesota. Perfect summers indeed!

What’s your perfect summer? I hope you’ll have the same experience that I did when thinking back on your summers and what made them perfect. What great memories come flooding back to you?

My perfect summers and my memories are all mine. They are unique to me, just like yours are. It’s not about a right or wrong summer. It’s just how we define “the perfect summer” for ourselves.

 
I believe that’s how investing should be. We should have beautifully designed, custom built portfolios that are unique to each of us. You’re not a cookie cutter and neither am I. Why should our portfolios be?

 

We’re meant to enjoy our wealth that has been earned, preserved and perhaps passed down. Our investments should meet our wonderfully unique needs and wants, hopes and dreams and in our own unique time frames. How’s your portfolio matching up with you? Give me a call and let’s take a look.

Of course, we should expect a few rainy days in our summers & in our portfolios. Those are often the perfect opportunities to patiently wait out the storms with a good book on the porch.

It’s mid August now. Kids are heading off to college; school buses are running again, the days are getting shorter. Enjoy this winding down of summer. I hope 2017 is one of your perfect summers!

Big Data and Big Janet

Posted 2017 May 10

 

My mother, Janet Elizabeth McCann Conroy, was affectionately known in our family as Big Janet.
While she was the tallest of the McCann girls, Mom was called Big Janet simply to keep all 3 Janets straight. Mom was Big Janet, I was Little Janet, and my cousin Janet was just Janet.

 

Perhaps like your Mom, my Mom seemed to know everything. There wasn’t much that we were able to get past her. My Mom also had the best hearing of anyone I knew. She always knew who was coming home late by how we tiptoed up the stairs. Mom knew and kept track of the countless details of running a household and raising a family long before we had computers, cell phones or the internet.

 

Big Data ShopperBig Janet was the Big Data of our family. Big Data, as we now know it, is the capturing of digital information and converting that into data.

 

This cartoon shopper is a perfect example. The grocery store analyzes all of the data collected when they scan in his purchases so they know when to order fresh raisin bread. He likes this store because it always has his fresh raisin bread when he shops on Thursday mornings. He’s a happy and loyal customer which is just exactly what the grocer wants and needs.

 

If our shopper used his debit card, GPS enabled smart phone or sent a text message while shopping, bingo- more data is gathered, analyzed, bundled and eventually used/sold for marketing.

 

Big Data goes well beyond personal data. It’s also gathering data to vastly improve and expand medical research. Everything from industrial machinery to our cars and lawn mowers are now equipped with sensors that gather and transmit data that will fine tune their operation as needed, on the fly.

 

I’m fascinated by Big Data, the technology, the servers and the analytics – think IBM’s Watson.

 

Big Data is great but will always be missing one thing that Big Janet had – a huge heart. She loved deeply and lived happily. All the data in the world won’t give you a hug. So this Mother’s Day – hug your Mom – the original Big Data in your life.