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Man’s most expensive friend

The pet business is booming. Last year we spent $58.5 billion on our animal buddies and will plunk down an additional 4-5% more this year. The lion’s share of that increase, after food, is going toward health care. read more…

June is off the table

Yellen

The notes of the Fed’s April policy meeting, released this week, may have confused more people than not. The central bank committee revealed that they were unlikely to raise short-term interest rates in June. That statement could be taken as both a positive and a negative, depending on your investment position. read more…

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Brazil—not for the faint of heart

Beset by scandals that could reach as high as the presidential office, suffering from an epic drought, low oil prices, high inflation, a declining currency and a negative economic growth rate, the world’s seventh largest economy could be an interesting long-term investment but not for the faint of heart. read more…

Earnings on deck

This week launched the beginning of first-quarter earnings results for American companies. Wall Street doesn’t expect much. It is bracing for a disappointing season, especially from U.S. exporters. Has the market discounted that news already? read more…

My $40,000 knee

40,000 kneeOver the next five years, health care spending in the U.S. will total $21 trillion. Spending on health care in America today represents over 17% of the United States economy. By 2017, that number will climb to almost 20% of spending. Now I know why. read more…

Will the second quarter be like the first?

By now you know that this year’s first quarter was nothing to write home about. The benchmark S&P 500 Index managed to eke out a gain of just 0.4% for the quarter. The Dow posted a 0.3% loss, while the NASDAQ did gain 3.5%. Can we expect more of the same this quarter? read more…

Volatility defines the stock market

volatilityIt was a tumultuous week. Investors should get used to it because volatility is going to be with us for some time to come. You can blame a lot of things, but the evidence suggests that the dollar is the main culprit behind the market’s gyrations. read more…

Is Main Street really recovering?

As Wall Street climbed higher and higher over the last five years, Main Street has languished. Jobs, until recently, were few and far between. But if the latest economic statistics can be believed, things just might be looking up. read more…

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About Bill

Bill Schmick was born in a blue-collar neighborhood of Philadelphia, just a few blocks north of “Rocky Balboa” territory where most of his Catholic schoolmates grew up to be either cops or criminals. He narrowly escaped both professions by volunteering to fight in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine... Read More

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