• All about the Consumer

    Retail Me Not Macy’s was definitely not giving thanks for their parade to the bottom of the board this week, falling 17.7% on Thursday after they reduced their guidance for sales and earnings after upgrading it only two months ago. The catalyst? Consumers had put up the best holiday sales numbers in six years at the beginning of the holiday season (Black Friday), but then basically just stopped shopping until Christmas so retail sales were really weak in December. Numbers from Target and Costco were a little more promising but the headline news about Macy’s brought down stocks across the entire retail sector – Kohl’s, L Brands, and Nordstrom were among…

  • New Year, Same Drama

    Shutdown showdown The government shutdown has been going on for two weeks and counting. The crux of the issue? $5B to build a border wall. The irony? The economic costs of this shutdown have probably already exceeded $5B because of Wages being paid to federal workers who aren’t working (I’ve heard this is every millennial’s dream – get paid to do nothing, is that true??) Lost revenue the government can’t collect from foregone services like permits and fees The costs to the broader economy from this disruption The government shutdown in 2013, which lasted 16 days, lowered quarterly GDP by 0.2%-0.6% ($2B-$6B). GDP is impacted by both consumer spending and…

  • UnBenchd 3.0

    So many of my introductory conversations these days go something like this: New acquaintance: What do you do for work? Me: I work in finance. New acquaintance: Oh interesting, what do you do exactly? Me: I work in investment management. New acquaintance (who is now becoming new friend) begins the slew of never-ending questions on the stock market. I have had enough of these conversations for it to not be a coincidence. I spend my days reading, learning, and scouring for information that can be used to drive smarter investment decisions. It’s just second nature to me at this point, it’s my job, it’s what I’ve been trained to do.…