One U.S. Dollar Could Soon Equal One Euro

One U.S. Dollar Could Soon Equal One Euro

The US Dollar is looking pretty mighty these days

Goldman Sachs believes the U.S. dollar will catch up to the Euro and may even be equal by the end of the year. euro to dollar

This is just one outcome of a resurgent America in comparison to the European Monetary countries that are having all kinds of difficulty.  While we ended our bond buying program, they’re just about to start.

This is good news for US travelers to Europe but bad news for big multi-national companies that do lots of business overseas as they convert back into US dollars.

Greenback Sours Against the Euro

118 Books in 2014

118 Books in 2014

A couple of years ago I started rating my books I read on www.goodreads.com.

Then I realized it kept track of all of them, and without knowing it I read 73 books in 2013. So, for 2014 I thought “I’ll bet I could read 100 books if I changed a few habits around (like no TV)”. So, that’s what I did, and I’ve never felt smarter and more enriched.

mikes books

I ended up reading 118 books in 2014, 66 fiction and 52 non-fiction.

Of the 52 non-fiction, 13 were business, 14 were personal development, and 25 miscellaneous general non-fiction.

* The best new (to me at least) fiction authors were Patrick Lee and Dan Silva.
* My favorite 2014 Fiction Genre – Spy novels
* Best Business Book (specific to my industry) – Unveiling the Retirement Myth by Jim Otar
* Best Business Book (general) – Winning the Battle for Relevance by Michael McQueen
* Best Personal Development Book – Fearless Leaders by my friend TC North
* 2nd Favorite Personal Development Book – You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
* Best General Non-Fiction – Lost in the Jungle by Yossi Ghinsberg

For 2015, I will probably get close again (reading is a lifestyle) and I plan on reading some long books like Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and a few other classics.

I’ll provide my 2015 thoughts this time next year!

Link to Mike’s Full 2014 Completed Reading List

Russian Ruble Crisis:  Don’t Panic like it’s 1998

Russian Ruble Crisis: Don’t Panic like it’s 1998

I remember the 1998 Russian crisis well.  It was near the end of the summer, and threatened to put a real damper on an otherwise excellent stock market year.   The “Moscow meltdown” bled over the S&P 500, which plunged 20%.Russia 98-14

There are reasons  1998 and today are different

  1. Tough sanction in place have somewhat isolated Western investors
  2. Russia has a war chest of $416 billion in currency reserves today, versus very little in 1998
  3. Russia’s currency is free floating, and not pegged to the US Dollar like in 1998.  External shocks can be absorbed by the currency markets.

There are other worries in the world we can be concerned about, but Russia collapsing and spilling over to us like 1998 isn’t one of them.

Dont Panic like it’s 1998 – Full Article

7 Simple Things Most Investors Don’t Do

7 Simple Things Most Investors Don’t Do

 

 

2 hands-7

 

I’m entering my 24th year working with clients.

I did financial plans for people decades ago, and usually, those that did reach their goals did so not because they bought mutual fund A instead of mutual fund B, or this investment over another, it  had to do with having the right behavior and keeping the big questions in mind.

Ben Carlson wrote an absolutely wonderful blog that I’ve linked to below.  He says very succinctly what I say all the time, and truly believe.

Here’s his list of 7 Simple Things Most Investors Don’t Do

  1. Look at everything from an overall portfolio perspective
  2. Understand the importance of asset allocation
  3. Calculate investment performance
  4. Save more every year
  5. Focus only on what you control
  6. Delay gratification

These are absolutely right on, and reflect my thinking.

 

7 Simple Things Most Investors Don’t Do – Full Article

History is an Outline, not a Blueprint

History is an Outline, not a Blueprint

Falling oil prices and collapsing exchange rates do not mean that it’s 1998 again. sign posts past and future

There’s an old adage that “economists have predicted 17 of the last 3 recessions”.

History is an outline, a guide, but there’s a reason we disclaim “past performance is no guarantee of future results”.  It should be modified to say “past history does not mean it will repeat itself here again”.

 

History is an Outline, not a Blueprint