The Inflation and Deflation Balancing Act

inflation and deflation

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” – F Scott Fitzgerald

The US has become a two choice society. We are consistently bombarded with the idea that our choices are binary. You have to vote republican or democrat, pro-life or pro-choice, for this idea or against it. Why is it that our choices in life are being limited to only two choices? Neither of which is chosen by us. Two positions in a debate are chosen and we have to choose from which one we like the best, or more commonly which one we dislike the least.

If you watch most news stations, they bring up two people to discuss an issue and usually both are extreme views, and you are supposed to pick a side. When did we become a binary choice society? During the next presidential election, we will have to choose between two people. I cannot remember the last time that I spoke to anyone who “liked” either choice. The conversation always ends up with the phrase, “yes I know he isn’t great… but he is certainly better than the other guy.” I’m willing to bet that the majority of people in the US (whether they know it or not) vote for the lesser of two evils. This means they are not voting for a candidate, they are voting against the other candidate. Really??? Our voting choices really come down to a dilemma? Our choices for the future of this country are based on who we can tolerate the most? It astounds me that more people don’t realize that they do this. But I digress,

The Inflation and Deflation Balance

The balance between inflation and deflation is much the same idea as many of our choices between two opposing ideas. It is a false dilemma. It is not a binary choice. Technically if you subscribe to the theory that inflation or deflation are measured by the CPI, then actually inflation and deflation would be measured by degrees rather than a binary choice. However, this assumes that the CPI method of measurement is an accurate measurement. What if inflation and deflation are not your only choices?

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Inflation Monitor November 2014

inflation monitor

Inflation Monitor November 2014 – Introduction

This is the second issue of the Innovative Advisory Group Inflation Monitor. We have received a lot of positive feedback on our first issue of that Inflation Monitor. As you will notice, we have taken some of this feedback and made some minor adjustments to our issue this month. As always, please contact me to send your feedback on how I can make this monthly Inflation monitor a better tool or resource for you.

This month I have added the following indicators:

  • The Rogers International Commodity Index®,
  • US 10 year TIPS,
  • Personal Expenditure Consumption Index,
  • Real median income to the list for reference.
  • US Debt as a percentage of GDP

In this month’s issue I will be discussing Japan, Deflation, US Oil production, Gold and Silver. Given the most recent US market sell off, I think it would be a good time to discuss the other side of inflation… Deflation.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy this month’s issue – Inflation Monitor November 2014.

Kirk Chisholm

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Inflation Monitor October 2014

inflation monitor

Inflation Monitor October 2014 – Introduction

This is the first issue of the Innovative Advisory Group Inflation Monitor. We created this Inflation Monitor as a part of the research we do internally at Innovative Advisory Group. While we have always done this research, we felt that with the new upgraded website, we would add a few new features. Our plan is to publish one of these each month with the monthly updated inflation data. Each issue will be accompanied with a brief summary of ideas, concept having to do with inflation, and a few notable charts, have I have found interesting either in the past month or in general. Everything will be related to inflation, or rather what I call “flation”. Maybe if I need to spice things up a bit, I’ll add a bit of humor. Please contact me to send your feedback on how I can make this monthly Inflation monitor a better tool or resource for you.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy.

Kirk Chisholm

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My Uncle Samuel’s Solution to the Moral Hazard Problem

What is moral hazard?

moral hazard definitionLet’s say that you have a gambling problem. You like to bet on football, baseball, basketball, and hockey. Professional, college, or high school — it doesn’t matter. You visit your local casino to bet on cards. You bet on the coin flip at the start of a football game. You will bet on anything.

Now generally people like this will end up in trouble at some point or another if they cannot control their vice. I have seen friends of mine get into this sort of trouble. It isn’t pretty. At some point they hit a losing streak and end up owing a “bookie”, more than they have. At some point after this happens, their debts get called. If the debt is called and you don’t have the money, “something bad” will happen.

However, lucky for you your Uncle Samuel is wealthy. When you get into trouble, you call Uncle Samuel to “bail” you out of this mess. Being a loving uncle, he gives you money to keep you from being the victim of “something bad”. Now maybe this scares you straight and you give up your gambling vice and you never gamble again. More likely than not, this “bail out” will only fuel your appetite for gambling (risk taking). Since you didn’t have to experience the pain of “something bad”, you will feel free to engage in the same destructive behavior as before. This time you might take greater risks with your bets. Why not? Your wealthy Uncle Samuel can come to your aid, and he has a lot more money than you do. So the pattern continues.

As your behavior continues, the pattern repeats itself. As you keep getting bailed out and your appetite for risk increases. This is an example of moral hazard. Moral hazard is a lack of incentive to protect against risks because someone else is bearing the risk for you. The best example of moral hazard is the treatment of large financial institutions in 2008 by the US government and related government entities.

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8 Common Mistakes Using a Self Directed IRA

 

self directed IRA mistakes

I decided to write this post because over the years while working with clients, I have come across the same mistakes over and over again. Some of these mistakes are from a misinterpretation of the rules, some are through a lack of knowledge in certain areas, and the most common one being unaware of the capability to invest in alternative investments inside a self directed IRA. While most of the rules are easy to find, unfortunately they don’t all appear in one place. I wrote this post to help address these common mistakes using a self directed IRA.

What is a self directed IRA?

I want to define “self directed IRA” for people who are unaware of the definition. A self directed IRA is an account with preferential tax treatment, which is capable of investing in alternative investments. These alternative investments could be assets such as real estate, tax liens, private mortgages, gold & silver, horses, livestock, farmland, medical equipment, and more. While a self directed IRA can invest in traditional assets such as stock, bonds and mutual funds, it is typically used to invest in alternative investments. For further information about what a self directed IRA is, please read the following post about self-directed retirement accounts

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My Story: How I Learned About Self Directed IRAs

 

self directed ira

 

Self Directed IRAs are not a widely known or understood area in the investment community. The term is typically used to describe what an IRA is, an Individual Retirement Account, which is self directed by the account owner. Most people know that this type of account can be used to invest in stocks bonds and mutual funds. What is not widely known is that this type of account can also be used to invest in real estate, tax liens, private mortgages, private businesses, medical equipment, horses, gold and silver coins, and more.

Most people who know me have been aware of my interest in investing in alternative assets with a self directed IRA for many years. What they may not be aware of is…

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Timeless Wall Street Wisdom

By: Kirk Chisholm

Wall Street Wisdom

Timeless Wall Street Wisdom

Wall Street is steeped with wisdom by learning from another’s folly. While no one wants to be held out as an example of what not to do, it is inevitable that someone makes the mistake. Human psychology is interesting in that what should be a valuable lesson to the rest of us, is squandered away by attempting to do the same thing over and over again. Fortunately many investors have come to the table before you and me and have left a valuable trail of lessons to learn from.

I am writing a category of blog posts with valuable Timeless Wall Street Wisdom. Anyone who cares to read it will be able to learn something new. These are lessons which I have learned over the years either through my own folly or by observing others… mostly through observing others. There is one certainty on Wall Street: if you think you are the first to make this mistake, you are not. There are no new investing paradigms, there are no new ideas, and when you hear the words, “but this time its different”… you should know that it never is. I hope you enjoy my Wall Street Wisdom…

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