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The Retired Investor: Tensions With China May Heat Up
By Bill Schmick,
05:12PM / Thursday, August 06, 2020
On Aug. 15, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Premier Vice President Liu He, will be facing off once again; this time to review the Phase One trade deal inked on Feb. 15. Neither side is especially happy with progress so far.   From the U.S. point of view, China has not lived up to its agreement to buy $200 billion of U.S. goods over their 2017 purchasing level. Chinese imports of agricultural products are actually lower than the 2017 level, which is about half the level needed to meet their promised target of $36.5 billion. The energy purchases they promised have also fallen woefully short of their commitment. Only 5 percent of their $25.3 billion in

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The Retired Investor: How Much Are Your Children Worth?
By Bill Schmick,
04:09PM / Thursday, July 30, 2020
In the weeks ahead, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) wants your children to go back to school. They say it is necessary because children need schooling from a social, emotional, and behavioral health perspective. No one disputes that, so why are American parents balking at the idea?   The short answer is that they are afraid for their kids. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that kids in a classroom are "super spreaders" of virus. Just think of what happens during the Flu season each fall and winter    Despite assurances from the CDC that death rates among school-age children are much lower than adults, they don't

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The Retired Investor: The Weakening Dollar
By Bill Schmick,
04:16PM / Thursday, July 23, 2020
Sometimes, investors are so focused on the trees that they miss the forest entirely. Take the U.S. dollar, for example. It has been declining at an alarming rate, yet no one seems to care.   Today, investors are occupied by a number of trees — earnings, stock prices, dividends, earnings results — that a weakening currency is almost an afterthought. Unfortunately, if the dollar continues to weaken, it could radically change your investment choices.    Most readers, in general, believe a strong dollar reflects a strong economy. The fact that it makes our exports more expensive, and imports cheaper, is also true. A strong dollar, in the past, has

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The Retired Investor: Bill & Barbara on Their Retirement Journey
By Bill Schmick,
01:53PM / Friday, July 17, 2020
 
Bill, Barbara and Titus. Dear friends,   Our thoughtful boss, Allen Harris, has asked us to write this letter to tell you all, in our own words, why we are leaving the firm. So, here goes.     Change has its own way of shaping our future. If you had asked me several months ago if I planned to do anything different, either personally, or career-wise over the coming decade, I would have answered with a resounding "no." And then the Pandemic of 2020 came along.   It has forced me, at the not-so-young age of 72, to re-evaluate my priorities. Topping my list is my goal of making the next 30 years

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The Retired Investor: Next Bailout Should Address Job Creation
By Bill Schmick,
04:06PM / Thursday, July 09, 2020
As the COVID-19 virus rages across the nation, Americans are hoping for more assistance from the government on a variety of fronts. So far this month, their hopes have been met with a resounding silence from the White House, although members of Congress are trying to come up with answers that both parties can agree upon. I have a couple of suggestions.    The first round of fiscal and monetary stimulus did a good job in addressing the huge spike in unemployment the country has suffered. While the CARES Act at $2.2 trillion provided $500 billion to distressed industries, almost $350 billion in loans to small businesses and $4100 billion to hospitals, it was the $200

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