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Dow 23,000. What Next?

Does Dow 23,000 Mean the Market is Going to Drop? Short answer, “no.” Just because markets have been going gangbusters for the last half decade, it doesn't spell the end. Just because investors has gone nuts, there is no reason that they can't continue to go nuts in the short term. The long answer is much more complicated. Let's dive into the long answer by going over a few frequently asked questions: 1. Why is the market up so much?  A: Multiple reasons. The most glaringly obvious one seems to be that economic conditions have been relatively good for a long time. Companies are making money, and up until now the valuations of companies have been supported by their earnings. With low interest rates, money is still very cheap. 2. Can the market still keep going up?  A: Yes it can. But if you are asking “Will the market continue [...]

By |2017-10-19T17:40:36-05:00October 19th, 2017|English Articles|Comments Off on Dow 23,000. What Next?

The Hedge Fund Crash of 2016

Hedge Funds Have a Bad Year, Again. Coming out of the tech crash in the early 2000s, investors everywhere were looking for a new edge. One of the trends that came out of the next decade was an increased interest in a little known structure that had been used sparingly since the 1920s, the hedge fund. Most of you are scratching your heads. “Hedge fund”, I have heard of those, but nobody has ever explained to me what they are exactly. Well, it is pretty simple, think about a mutual fund...and then remove most of the rules. Hedge funds are allowed to use much larger leverage (borrowed money). Since the borrowing restrictions are not in force, hedge funds, are allowed to take much much more risk than most mutual funds are allowed. With all the added risk hedge funds are allowed, there are restrictions. Hedge funds are only available to [...]

By |2016-11-10T16:48:57-06:00November 10th, 2016|English Articles|Comments Off on The Hedge Fund Crash of 2016

Tesla in Highland Park to Offer Solar City Products. Should Investment Advisors Recommend Tesla?

Tesla just unveiled a brand new product this past week, “Solar Shingles”, and they are beautiful. Since our office is Northbrook IL, a northern suburb of Chicago. And there is a Tesla dealership about two miles north of our office in Highland Park, we have gotten more than a few calls asking if Tesla stock is a good investment. Investment advisors, stock brokers, financial planners and analysts get questions like this all of the time. What is the best stock to invest in? What investments are you buying? But most of the investment advisors I know cringe at this question. But in the interest of talking about Tesla...let's first take a look at Tesla, and then circle back to ask if Tesla is a good investment for your portfolio. Tesla's fundamentals are an interesting case study right now. Up until this last quarter Tesla had never posted a profit. Just [...]

By |2016-11-10T16:21:16-06:00October 31st, 2016|English Articles|Comments Off on Tesla in Highland Park to Offer Solar City Products. Should Investment Advisors Recommend Tesla?

Starbucks brews its beer and wine in Northbrook

Families were delighted to sample  nine dollar  glasses of wine this Monday at Starbucks in Northbrook, although  some were dissatisfied with their portion. Chicago Tribune interviewed a couple, Mark and Margaret Tannenberg, and their friend who were sitting at one table.  The couple sampled their six ounces of pinot grigio. the friend thought there was too little in her wide-bottomed Starbucks Evenings stemless wine glass. Starbucks limited the portions to earn their liquor license last fall, according to Village President Sandy Frum. Starbucks has already run into problems with Seventh Day Adventists in Orlando, Florida, who first accepted, then opposed, Starbuck’s plan to serve beer and wine to its patrons near their church.  The store aims to tread warily with Northbrooks, although it’s doubtful Starbucks will  have alcohol problems there. Sandy Frum thinks the beer and wine will spark some nightlife into the dreamy area. "You can get people in [...]

By |2016-05-25T14:46:12-05:00May 20th, 2016|English Articles|Comments Off on Starbucks brews its beer and wine in Northbrook

Children Cause Income Inequality

Three weeks ago, DBF covered health research that moving to pricey neighborhoods with highly-educated populations apparently makes you live longer. About the same time, Ann Owens, a sociologist at the University of Southern California, reported that moving to pricey neighborhoods with good school districts may be the best real estate decision you can make if you have school-age children, since it betters your child’s chances in life. It has also increased income segregation in America since the 1990's. Rich and non-rich citizens are less likely to share the same neighborhood, but Owen’s research, published in the American Sociological Review, finds this has more to do with children than with other factors. She concluded that “Results indicate that children face greater and increasing stratification in neighborhood contexts than do all residents, and this has implications for growing inequalities in their future outcomes.” Owens studied income segregation patterns across the 100 largest [...]

By |2016-05-25T14:46:53-05:00May 12th, 2016|English Articles|Comments Off on Children Cause Income Inequality

Your 10 Safest Hospitals in Illinois, 2016

Illinois is 15th in the nation when it comes to  safe medical care as reported by the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization that promotes improvements in health care. Since  2012, Leapfrog tracks hospital performance across the nation twice a year with its Hospital Safety Score. The Group’s most recent 2016 rankings monitored factors in 25000 hospitals that included surgical errors, hospital staff quality, infection risk and other safety issues like patient falls and bedsores. Leapfrog then grades performance along  scale of A to F where A boasts superb patient care and F warns patient to leave hospital before doctors may kill him. Selecting the right hospital, its Newsroom reported, can reduce your risk of avoidable death by 50%. In its Spring 2016 Report, Leapfrog found a 9% higher risk of avoidable death in B hospitals, 35% higher in C hospitals, and 50% higher in D and F hospitals, than in [...]

By |2016-05-04T15:22:49-05:00May 4th, 2016|English Articles|Comments Off on Your 10 Safest Hospitals in Illinois, 2016

Cancer could become a chronic illness not a death sentence

    Billionaire philanthropist Sean Parker collated a group that plans to defeat cancer with immunotherapy. Imagine taking the top baseball players, forming them into a group and funding them to play. That is what Sean Parker did when he collected six of the brightest scientists into a powerhouse that is intent on turning cancer into just another disease. One that could be beaten by the body. Immunotherapy is the process where the body marshalls its own immune system to defeat foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses. Cancer is a tricker foe than ‘regular’ diseases and stomps the immune system. Parker’s team are working on two ways to get around this. Their first idea is to create “armies” of immune cells that would attack cancer. Their second idea would be to “retrain” the troops to circle cancer's defenses. Lest this sound simplistic, Parker’s Manhattan Project of six researchers convened [...]

By |2016-04-27T16:56:19-05:00April 27th, 2016|English Articles|Comments Off on Cancer could become a chronic illness not a death sentence

Plans for Historic Dist. 112 Schools: Razed or Reused?

  Four schools in Highland Park’s District 112 are historic and slated to close in 2017. Landmarks Illinois, a group that works to preserve the state's architectural and cultural landmarks opposes their closure. Lincoln Elementary School, Ravinia Elementary School, Elm Place Middle School and the Green Bay School date back to the early 19th century. North Shore School District 112 want them closed to save its budget. The schools cost at least $5 millions in personnel costs and millions more in long-term maintenance fees.  Landmarks Illinois points to their historic value and urges that the District consider reconverting rather than razing these buildings. If sold, each of the properties could fetch sizeable amounts of money. The 3.7-acre Green Bay School property was appreciated at $5.2 million last year for its prime location and its possibility to hold multi-family housing. 3.3-acre Elm Place Middle School is zoned for single-family housing and [...]

By |2016-04-25T17:12:37-05:00April 25th, 2016|English Articles|Comments Off on Plans for Historic Dist. 112 Schools: Razed or Reused?

Does Wealth Equal Longevity?

Take this as you may, the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that top earning Americans add more years to their lives than those in a lower bracket do. The eight researchers – economists from Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, consulting firm McKinsey & Co., and the U.S. Treasury’s office of tax analysis - peeked into 1.4 billion anonymous tax records that dated from 1999 to 2014 and matched the data to death records from the Social Security Administration. They concluded that wealthier people tended to live longer than those who had less. Males who lived in the top fifth percentile tended to add another two years to their lives, while females in that same bracket lived longer by another three. By contrast, males who lived in the bottom fifth percent added a few more months to their life expectancy while females, in that same [...]

By |2016-04-13T10:45:28-05:00April 13th, 2016|English Articles|Comments Off on Does Wealth Equal Longevity?

The End of Uber and Lyft in Chicago?

Last Monday, Alderman Anthony Beale (9th) proposed  that Chicago’s Uber and Lyft drivers should get chauffeur’s licenses. These are what ‘regular’ taxi drivers pay to acquire. If rideshare drivers go for them, it may spell the end of ride sharing as we know it. And, possibly, hike the price of the industry. As Marco McCotry, Uber Illinois General Manager, points out, the ridesharing industry works precisely because its employees patrol many areas on south and west side of Chicago where  few taxi drivers dare to drive. Fifty-four percent of uberX trips in Chicago begin or end in areas that are underserved by taxi and public transportation. Uber and Lyft also propel social change since they give jobs to those who are under- or unemployed. More than 20% of uberX driver-partners live on the south and west sides, including many areas plagued by the city’s highest unemployment rates. Such drivers use [...]

By |2016-04-10T20:04:11-05:00April 10th, 2016|English Articles|Comments Off on The End of Uber and Lyft in Chicago?