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October 2016
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So-called values-based investing, better known in days past as socially-responsible investing, involves making decisions about which stocks to buy and sell in consideration, at least partly, of the company’s track record with respect to environmental , social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues. It has not, however, been a popular paradigm for many investors, historically. The knock on this kind of investing has been the tepid (at best) returns realized from applying great weight to these factors. In other words, the predominant view is that investors have been best-served by paying attention to the underlying fundamentals of companies, as well as... Read more →

There’s a lot of ways to shop for Black Friday deals. One way, of course, is to go down through your Christmas shopping list, item by item, and work diligently to find the lowest price for each of the presents you plan to purchase. Another way, though, that might be very helpful, depending on your list and on how you are able to shop, is to simply know which stores are offering the biggest savings, both overall as well as by product category, and do much, or even all, of your shopping at a couple of those. If that information... Read more →

The wealth of Black Friday deals available online continues to grow. In an item appearing over at USA Today, NerdWallet’s Courtney Jespersen reports that the number of shoppers who will buy gifts online this holiday season is expected to be greater than ever, if the results of Deloitte’s annual holiday survey ring true. As the battle for market share continues to grow fiercer among retailers, many are responding to the continually-increasing trend toward online shopping by making available to cybershoppers the same great deals they would find if they ventured into physical store locations. A growing number of retail’s biggest... Read more →

If you have not heard, the hot item this year is the 4K television (also called 4K Ultra HD). What is it? Well, the simple answer is that it is a super high resolution TV. The more technical answer is that 4K has nearly 4,000 pixels of resolution (compared to the 1080 resolution of a standard HDTV). As you will see in some of our other articles on Black Friday, the 4K TV is a major featured item this year and also represents a popular 'door buster' as well. My wife and I really enjoy these new programs with multiple... Read more →

So, how do YOU approach Black Friday shopping? You might be disinclined to approach it at all, but assuming you have a rather substantial list of folks for whom to buy gifts this Christmas, or simply desire to take advantage of some great deals for yourself, then Black Friday, and the days near to it, will likely be relevant to you. That said, the best way to negotiate the madness of Black Friday is with something of a plan - engaging the day with a bit of forethought will help to ensure that you emerge on the other end with... Read more →

Can you feel it? Black Friday is coming, and, with it, a mountain of great deals. One of the most popular features of Black Friday are the “doorbuster” deals…those extra-special savings opportunities on popular items that are typically available for limited times or on limited quantities, and designed to bring shoppers into retail locations with the hopes that they’ll leave having bought a lot more. U.S. News & World Report has compiled its list of the top doorbuster deals available this Black Friday, on the basis of merchandise category. Here’s a sample of what the folks there were able to... Read more →

While much of the U.S. remains practically apoplectic over the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, there are, apparently, highly-distressed parts of the world that are looking upon his victory with great favor. Reporting by The Christian Post details that both Christians and Muslims from war-torn Sudan and South Sudan are actually “celebrating” the victory of Trump over Hillary Clinton – this according to a human rights worker who has a long history of assisting in the region. Faith McDonnell, director of the Religious Liberty Program and Church Alliance for a New Sudan at... Read more →

Like we didn’t have enough about which to worry already. Are you familiar with medical identity theft? If not, pay attention, because it is on the rise, and comes with its own very-costly consequences. is reporting on a recent study that shows this kind of ID theft becoming very popular among scammers, with victims facing an average cost of $13,500 to repair the damage. Medical ID theft can appear in a variety of forms, and can include such things as the use of your insurance to visit a doctor, get prescriptions, purchase any of a variety of medical equipment,... Read more →

Will it be safe to visit Europe again in our lifetime? Or ever? Hard to say, at the rate things are going. On Monday, the U.S. State Department issued an alert to citizens regarding the prospect of traveling in Europe, presently, saying that they should be very much on guard if they plan to venture overseas for any reason. The advisory reads, in part: “Credible information indicates the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL the U.S. gov't acronym for ISIS or Da'esh), al-Qaeda, and their affiliates continue to plan terrorist attacks in Europe, with a focus on the... Read more →

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is going crazy these days running background checks on people seeking to become gun owners. As a matter of fact, according to, it’s expected that by the time 2016 comes to an end, the NICS will have run roughly 25 million background checks. It is not just men, however, who are buying all of those firearms. Not even close. A lot of the purchasers are now women, and it is the enthusiastic participation of women in gun buying that is the reason for the astronomical level of background checks, presently. Steve... Read more →

While many of President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet selections, and considered cabinet selections, have been the subject of some hand-wringing on the part of key Democrats, there is one likely pick that seems to be inspiring relatively uniform agreement across party lines…and is doing so on behalf of a retired marine general with the decidedly unprogressive nickname of “Mad Dog.” Bloomberg is reporting that Gen. James N. “Mad Dog” Mattis met with Trump about the possibility of becoming Secretary of Defense, and while Mattis clearly has an enthusiastic champion in the incoming president, the career warrior’s reputation has also seen him... Read more →

Random street crime is something few see as affecting the best-heeled among us. That, however, is changing, and, particularly, in Europe, where some believe the significant shift in key demographic profiles due to immigration is the reason for the troubles. France, in general, and Paris, in particular, is currently plagued by a level of criminal assaults that few remember as being evident previously, and the very wealthiest among us are no longer spared the risk of becoming a victim. The Daily Beast reports that just before the recent, high-profile Paris robbery of Kim Kardashian in her hotel room, a Qatari... Read more →

When it comes to getting by successfully in retirement, turns out it’s not enough to save. You have to save enough. According to an article over at Fox Business, a report by the Federal Reserve reveals that many American workers who are going to the trouble of setting aside money toward the day when they eventually cease work altogether…are simply not saving enough to ensure a financially secure retirement. In fact, it’s not even close. As the Fed’s survey details, those households able to access retirement accounts have an average of just $110,000 accumulated for retirement. That figure, according to... Read more →

“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” appears to be going “next level” in northwestern Iraq. Christian Post reports that the Shingal Women’s Units (YJS), which are associated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Shingal Resistance Units (YBJ), are going to be engaging the Islamic State in the town of Tal Afar, according to a recent, formal statement made by the group. The express purpose of the military campaign, according to the declaration, is to “avenge Yazidi women,” as well as to help rescue any Yazidi females who are still alive but remain in captivity. Islamic State... Read more →

In the wake of this most polarizing election, a lot of folks have decided they need to take a “time out.” From Facebook, that is. The social media giant that now serves as the daily connective tissue for so many personal relationships outside of immediate family…found itself as the platform on which many of those relationships fell into disrepair as a result of the espousals on both sides of the political dividing line. As USA Today reports, many people are now just plain worn out from all the digital shouting that took place for so many months, and they’ve simply... Read more →