Short excerpts from articles I found interesting.

I may not agree with the author and the following material is not intended as investment advice.

 The Kiplinger Letter – March 17, 2017

  • “The Fed:  Now that the Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates a quarter-point…When will the move affect business and consumer finances?  Already, mortgage rates inched up a quarter-point in anticipation of the Fed’s action.”
  • “In a month or so, expect higher rates for cars and recreational vehicles. , including boats, trailers and motor homes , as banks and credit unions catch up and lift loan rates a quarter-point.  The same goes for credit card interest rates.  Personal loan rates may not change much... banks have more flexibility.”
  • “In about six weeks, most CDs, IRAs and money market rates will go higher.  Banks and credit unions plan to go slow as they seek to restore lost profit margins after years of low rates.  Expect small institutions to move faster than big bans.  Don’t count on earning more in savings accounts.  Rates will hold steady near zero for now.  Savers will have to wait for the next hike…or perhaps longer.”

 The Economist – When life throws you lemons – March 9, 2017

  • It’s not typhoons or earthquakes that insurers should fear most, but geeks alert to their businesses inefficiencies.  Daniel Schreiber and Shai Wininger, tech entrepreneurs with no insurance background, spotted that the industry is huge, distrusted, antiquated and hopelessly unreformed.  In September they started lemonade, a New York-based insurer for home-owners and renters…”
  • “Late last year a customer called Brandon claimed for a stolen coat.  He answered a few questions on the app and recorded a report on his iPhone.  Three seconds later his claim was paid – a world record, says Lemonade.  In those three seconds “A.I. Jim”, the firm’s claim bot, reviewed the claim, cross-checked it with the policy, ran 18 anti-fraud algorithms, approved it, send payment instructions to the bank and informed Brandon.”  

U.S. Global Investors – Investor Alert – March 17, 2017 – by Frank Holmes

  • “.....For the third time in two years, the Federal Reserve lifted interest rates 0.25 percent this week following last week’s phenomenal jobs report. The move was seen as more dovish than many market analysts had anticipated. BCA Research went so far as to call it an “unhike,” citing a number of factors, including forecasts of only three rate hikes in 2017 instead of four.”
  • “…The major market indices finished up this week.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.06 percent. The S&P 500 Stock Index rose 0.24 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.67 percent. The Russell 2000 small capitalization index gained 1.92 percent this week.”
  • “…CPI inflation ticked up to its highest level in five years. The headline index moved up to 2.7 percent year-on-year for the month of February. Core CPI, which strips out the volatile food and energy categories, was up 2.2 percent year-on-year. This is a sign the economy is picking up momentum.
  • “…Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen sought to reassure investors that the central bank’s latest interest-rate increase wasn’t a paradigm shift to a trigger-happy policy driven by fears of faster inflation. Speaking to reporters after the Fed’s quarter percentage-point move on Wednesday, Yellen said the central bank was willing to tolerate inflation temporarily overshooting its 2 percent goal and that it intended to keep its policy accommodative for “some time.”