I believe that I have seen a lot of change during my 39 years in Financial Services.  After the Army, I earned a BA in Economics from The Ohio State University and, then, an MBA from Rutgers-Newark, in my home state of New Jersey.  The Financial Services Arena was quite different when I entered it, since we still had the Glass-Steagall Act in place. “Glass” separated Commercial Banking (FDIC-Insured Deposits and Loans to Consumers and Businesses) from Investment Banking (High-End Finance and Investments).

Also, most brokerage firms were partnerships at the time.  That meant that, when they took un-due risks, they were gambling with the partners’ money, not bank deposits, or the equity of ownership the public shareholders.

The separation of the two areas of Finance was created after the Stock Market Crash of 1929.  Over the past 25 years or so, however, the divergence of Commercial Banking from Investment Banking was relaxed.  Many wonder nowadays if that partially led to some of the problems, which caused the Melt-Down in the Financial Services Sector, back in 4Q07-1Q09.    I certainly believe that to be the case!   Obviously, the US Economy, and that of much of the World, still hasn’t recovered completely yet.

Over the years, I had had to reinvent myself on numerous occasions, to keep-up with changes in the Financial Arena.  I have seen a lot, and hopefully learned from–the Watergate Crisis in the Early 70s, several Oil Embargoes, The “Volcker-Created Recession” of 1981 (which I believe saved our Economy), the Stock Market Crash (falling some 21% in ONE day) of ’87, the Dot-Coms, and then on to the Tragic Events of 2001, with two more Wars and, then, what I call “The Great Recession” (4Q07-1Q09), more recently.

During my career, I have always regarded the securities markets with two things in mind:

  1. Since only 23% of the World’s Economic Activity (GDP or Gross Domestic Product) is produced in the US, I have always stressed a Global Approach to Investing.  Currently, however, I do shy away from Europe, actually the Euro.
  2. We never know what the next hot stock will be or why some of the great companies of the past (i.e. Eastman Kodak, Sears, NCR, have fizzled.  So, rather than trying to be a stock-picker, I have tried to focus somewhat on trends that will have more broad-based implications on the Economy, as well as the Financial Markets.  Also, since the Financial Markets do not exist in a vacuum, it is important to consider everything in the broader contextual world around us!.

After four years in Manhattan, I spent the rest of my career in South Florida.  All the while, however, I have had a multitude of Overseas Clients.  I have always found it interesting that people who live in other countries often know quite a lot about the US, while many Americans seem to know very little about the world around us.  Now, I realize that there are some reasons for that; however, I believe that a lack of global curiosity, on our part, might be a contributing factor.

I retired in early 2012 and my Daughter decided that I needed to find something to do–hence, this Blog.  Although my professional background is financial, I also have always had strong views on Politics, Education, Foreign Affairs and a wide range of other topics.  So, if you see a post that doesn’t strike your fancy, just scroll-on to the next Post.

But, if you do like the content, please pass the Blog Address on to Your Friends.

  1. #1 by tony marinelli on May 16, 2012 - 9:56 AM

    Hey Joe,

    Good morning! Well written. Looking forward to hearing more from you!

    best from tony,cynthia and stroooodle! (she wants to know if you will be covering the new phenomena dogtv)

  2. #2 by Amanda Wiltshire-Craine on May 20, 2012 - 9:32 PM

    Nice job on your bio and first blog!

  3. #3 by jyl1st on December 24, 2014 - 11:51 AM

    Glad to see you blogging. I believe you need to go from anonymous to identifying yourself. It makes you more credible. Good Luck.

    • #4 by cheekos on December 24, 2014 - 9:18 PM

      lyl1st, do YOU really think that I should stop being anonymous? What planet does the name lyl1st hail from? Besides, no one would believe that I am actually Santa Clause.

  4. #5 by Scared in America on December 21, 2016 - 7:54 PM

    I think anonymity is probably best, especially at this point. I admit that I expected a name b/c I always check on the “about” type info when I read new (to me) blogs. You might put something about that in the first line of your bio. It’s probably some “money where your mouth is” type sentiment, but as you see, I’m not putting my name here either. FYI, I came across a site that actually gathers and posts comments by “handle” the other day. I don’t know how many sites or stories it follows, and it seems to suggest that its purpose is to analyze the reaction to news. Nevertheless, even if their purpose isn’t nefarious, what are the chances that others aren’t collecting comments? I only found two of mine under my posting name, both taken from a newspaper I often read and comment on, but still, this doesn’t strike me as a positive turn of events. I don’t want to type out the name in case they do searches for that as well, but if you take out one of the “m’s” in comment and tack on arismo and the standard domain, you can find them.

    Actually, I have no idea how I got to your site b/c I don’t know the first thing about investments. (I probably thought it was going to be about Thomas Paine – lol.) However, I did find the column about Apple interesting.

    • #6 by cheekos on December 21, 2016 - 11:11 PM

      Scared in America, this blog is not geared toward just Investments. On it, you will also find: politics; women’s health; race issues; the value of breast milk; education: military; nuclear arms; and there’s even one on dog poop (really). There is no theme, per se–just anything and everything. So, thanks for stopping by, and commenting, and hopefully, you’ll visit again.

  5. #7 by Tesla Le'Stat on February 24, 2017 - 6:11 AM

    I just stumbled upon your blog while reading an article in NYT. I took the time to go through some articles and must confess that I find myself in an immense agreement with you despite of having nowhere a life experience in world of finance or politics as of yours; nor do I had exposure/observation to/of our political landscape to the extent that you may have had.

    However, now, more than ever – (in light of the real threats to our personal individual rights and freedom to be able to think/act freely) – I am closely observing, learning, and monitoring “breaking news” and unfolding of government stories (shenanigans!, if you will) – as a dutiful citizen.

    • #8 by cheekos on February 24, 2017 - 5:53 PM

      Tesla LeStat, thanks very much for visiting my blog, and for commenting. The way to endure a demagogue, and hopefully delete his support, is through facts, and careful analysis. Don’t listen to his predictions of GDP growth of 3.5% to 4.0%, without placing that in context. The economy last grew by 4.0% back in 1964, during LBJ’s Administration. Since then, Reagan’s 3.4% and Clinton’s 3.7% were made possible by them having inherited quite weak economies. But, Donald Trump inherited a GDP growth rate, which was somewhat held-back by the remnants of G.W. Bush’s “Financial Abyss”, but the Unemployment Rate is now hovering in the 4/7-to-4.8% range. which economists consider “Full Employment”.

      So far, Trump has accomplished very little. He hasn’t repealed ACA or Dodd-Frank, attacking the Judiciary and the Media merely demonstrates that the Schoolyard Bully will never changed, and when will the “Robots on Parade!” begin. But, he sure has awakened the Congressional Constituents, who have been showing-up at Town Hall Meetings!

      J.D. Vance, in his great book “Hillbilly Elegy”, escaped the Hillbilly Culture that those from Appalachia brought with them to Southern Ohio and Indiana, after WWII. Mr. Vance wrote that many of those Bible thumpers hadn’t been to church in Ages, and the same goes for the job hunt. But, they voted for Trump, because he’s going to help them catch-up with the Economy that left them behind!

  6. #9 by Doug Lasater on June 16, 2017 - 2:33 PM

    Excellent post

  7. #10 by Doug (FPS/ on August 11, 2017 - 5:47 AM

    So you’re a finance guy. That’s pretty impressive. No matter how many times I watch Trading Places and watch that “course” on commodities I am still confused. 🙂 I’ll be following you.

    • #11 by cheekos on August 11, 2017 - 8:04 PM

      Finance, like everything, is mostly B. S, with a little bit of common sense thrown in!

  8. #12 by emotan77 on August 11, 2017 - 5:02 PM

    I had read quite a few of your posts before I decided to check out who the blogger is; probably the exact opposite of how most go about making a blog one of destination reads.

    Found this as interesting as those essays I’ve checked out here.

    In a way, your debate: goimg anon or letting everything – sort of – hang out? You are still very young, okay, no disrespect, I forgot that by American standard, 30 is old. I have kids older than you, and to me, you are very young.

    The link to age? I think more may want to read someone they seem to know; anonymous/pen name writings may not. I personally would not be drawn much to “anon”.

    In the end, the choice is yours.


    • #13 by cheekos on August 11, 2017 - 7:59 PM

      Told, did you get some of Jim Morrison’s weed, and forget to open a window? I’m not sure if you’re talking to me or not, but I have a daughter who is older than 30. You might have missed the posts where I noted that, during the Missiles of October–my senior year in high school–I didn’t know whether I would be receiving my Diploma in June, or carrying a rifle somewhere.

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