Welcome to the end of the week and another edition of Happy Hour! Just sit back, relax, and enjoy your end of the week roundup of all things interesting in the land of money.
$1 Trillion Platinum Coin
The argument for a $1 Trillion Coin picked up steam this week now that the focus is squarely on the debt ceiling issue. Just when you think the political system is starting to look better, it hits a new low. Instead of dealing with the current debt ceiling issue, they’re dreaming up legal loopholes to avoid the discussion entirely. It’s a coin version of talk to the hand.
If you remember the market reaction to the debt ceiling debate in 2011, you have an idea what could happen in late February, early March. Not surprising the 2011 debacle is when this whole coin idea first surfaced. It certainly won’t inspire confidence in the markets. The fact the coin is being seriously discussed shows just how ugly the debate will get. Of course, if our politicians are too inept to realize any of this, I say mint the thing.
A side note, this event reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Mr. Burns steals the $1 Trillion bill. The video is much more entertaining than this coin argument.
This week, Jacob Lew was nominated to be the next Treasury Secretary. With it came the question what would his signature look like on the dollar bill? For those anxiously awaiting the answer, the Wall Street Journal has a copy.
It looks like someone needs to schedule some practice time with a handwriting worksheet. So far I found a J and some mighty fine squiggles. Unless it’s upside down. It’s like he forged the icing on a hostess cupcake. Anyways, late night TV has had a field day with it.
Earnings Season Reminder
Just a reminder that earnings season kicked off this week with Alcoa reporting a better than expected outlook going forward with increased demand in the airplane and auto industries. Looks like a good sign for manufacturing.
Generally this earnings season is when many CEO’s will present a nice 2012 review along with 2013 estimates, outlook, and concerns. It’s an easy way to find out what business leaders expect in 2013. Now is a great time to listen in on several conference calls even if you’re not a shareholder.
- Mr. Market and the Intelligent Investor – I’ve read this Graham parable too many times to count and it never gets old. It is simply the best explanation on how the stock market works and the importance of differentiating between price and value.
- Examining Benjamin Graham’s Record: Skill Or Luck? – Insightful research that even the simplest of value strategies, combined with a disciplined approach, can beat the market over the long-term.
- Budget Deal Lets More Savers Convert To Roth 401k – One piece of the fiscal cliff deal that will get a lot press this year. Anyone thinking about converting their 401k to a Roth 401k should understand the tax implications now and in retirement. I would suggest talking to a tax/financial professional also.
- The Most Important Investment Chart of the Past Decade – A nice rebuttal to the lost decade argument. It shows the importance of asset allocation. Plus the Arnott quote about the S&P 500 is a nice bonus.
- Choosing Simplicity in the New Year – A nice reminder that your asset allocation doesn’t need to be complicated or full of exotic funds to be successful.