October 14, 2014


As I type this post via my phone, today marks my blog's 5yr milestone.   I'd like to thank all of you for visiting my website and supporting me as the website has had over 44K visitors since its inception.

It's been an amazing journey.

Furthermore, I'm not sure where to take the site going forward...should I continue with writing about my financial thoughts?  Or "shift gears" and perhaps take more of a personal tone (meaning,  I walk you through my own personal finances and show you exactly what I'm doing)?  Up until this point, BarringtonLewis.com has been more of an advisory  blog...and I haven't been too personal about what actually goes on with my own finances (so to speak).

In addition, I haven't posted much because after 5yrs of posting financial advice, I believe that I've said mostly (if not all) that I can say.

Let me know what direction you think would be best for barringtonlewis.com and we'll take on this next phase of growing and exploring ways to BE FREE together.


June 24, 2014

Wealth diminishes in US

Interesting article ...no wonder cars, houses, food, college tuition, etc. seems to be more expensive.
Not to mention rising costs in healthcare, lackluster stock market performance, and the dismal outlook for a comfortable retirement.



June 18, 2014

The millenials saving habits by gender


June 12, 2014

How Much in The Next Generation?

Everything is expensive nowadays, correct?  Just think the price of just about everything has increased dramatically in one generation than perhaps ever before.  Have you ever heard your parents reminisce about when the cost of gas was $0.50/gallon?  Or when a loaf of bread was a nickel?  A gallon of milk cost a dime?

I wonder sometimes what bits of information will our memory hold to the next generation?  Can you imagine talking to a son or daughter, 20 or 30yrs from now, about how things were when you were a kid?  My story would probably sound a little like this:

"I remember when I was 16 and got my first car...a used 1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass.  The price of gas would fluctuate anywhere from $0.85 to $1.00/gallon.  I could get by a whole week on $5 depending on how far I drove...which was usually between school, football practice, and home.  Interest rates were high - but I didnt pay too much attention to it because I had no need for a loan at such a young age.  But I do remember when having $20 dollars felt like a lot of money...that meant gas for the entire month!  Milk was like, $1.50 a gallon...I bought my PlayStation 1 for about $100...everything was fairly affordable.

My first job was at Publix Supermarket and I was a grocery bagger...I made about $70 week there working part-time.  No wait, let me back up...my first job - I used to sweep floors at Iron Mountain...up and down those long aisles of anonymous boxes belonging to several companies.  I was 15yrs old and remember I made $5/hr there...I remember my mom telling me that it was a good job and I should be happy.

Between these two jobs it allowed me to buy my first car - for about $650...which I had saved from working part-time.  By the summer of 1999, before I'd left for college, I was making about $400/week at my 3rd job, which was Ford Motor dealership...I was washing and detailing cars.  I was making enough money to have an apartment and support a small family lol...but I saved mostly every penny to help pay for a few things to get me started for college."

That was back then...a simple time when a teenager could get a job and buy the simple things in life...a car, clothes, video games, etc.  Now video games start at $400, used car prices are astronomical, food, clothing, etc. have all drastically increased.

So as the global economy expands and wealth is consolidated or concentrated to the global 1%...that means less for the rest of us...or perhaps it means, it will be much harder to live comfortably and maintain your standard of living in the future.  Given these highly probable expectations...or adjustments - what are you doing to adjust accordingly?  What are you doing to prepare the next generation or what are you doing to prepare yourself?


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May 29, 2014

Joseph Stiglitz

Interesting article by famed economist!   Give it a read and post your comments if you like.


May 21, 2014

IMF World Economic Outlook Reports List

IMF World Economic Outlook Reports List 

The link above will take you to an interesting report on the world outlook which helps (at least for me) with investing.  Having a macro as well as a micro approach when it comes to investments is ideal no matter what asset class you prefer in your portfolio.

Just a thought....


May 9, 2014

Means testing for Social Security becoming more of a reality...

Great article concerning or speculating how entitlements will be dealt with in the future. 

How does this make you feel?   What are you doing differently to prepare yourself and your family in case you don't qualify for Social Security?


April 20, 2014

"World Economy Stronger; recovery uneven"

Some cautiously good news from the IMF as far as the global recovery is concerned.  Click here for article.

Nevertheless, I'm a slightly concerned about the volatility in the stock market amidst rising food, clothing, and

fuel costs in the US.  These costly headwinds are immediately felt by families who are sticking to a budget (my family), and/or considering whether or not to spend money on possibly a new car or home.

Price stability is a responsibility of the Federal Reserve (hidden within their "dual mandate" of  effectively promoting maximum employment and moderate long-term interest rates) and their record has not been a good one.  My question to the Fed is "how can they have the responsibility to effectively keep prices stable - yet at the same time pursue "inflation targets", and quantitative easing schemes to "promote maximum employment"?

I don't know about you, but in the last 20 years it seems:

  • things have become more expensive, 
  • more individuals need to have 2 or more jobs, 
  • less people can comfortably retire, 
  • college tuition is projected to be over $200,000 per child in 17 years from now according to The College Board SOURCES: The College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges; NCES, IPEDS,
  • and families are becoming smaller (birthrate has declined).

All of the aforementioned items can be directly or indirectly linked to price instability, and minimum employment with possibly lower wages and longer hours.  The rich get richer as they say...and the poor stay poor.  But ask yourself - am I rich or poor today?  Today, I am neither.

So in 5 years from now (2019) - am I putting myself on the path to be richer?  Or poorer?  Because if I'm going to be richer in 5 years, then there's a good chance I'll be richer in another 5 years after that (2024)...because, as they say, the rich get richer.  However, if I'm going to be poorer 5 years from now (or at least not doing anything to make myself richer) in 2019, then there's a good chance I'll be even poorer in another 5 years (2024) unless I stop the cycle.

I need another vehicle soon, and I don't just want any other vehicle - I want a nice 2014 F-150 FX2 truck with dual exhaust or maybe a sport sedan like the Dodge Charger SRT8.  But I know this is creating a monthly payment (liability) for myself and a monthly income (asset) for whatever car company I buy from.  In addition, I want to take a chance and buy some rental property (even before I buy my own house) - this way, once rented, I create a monthly income for myself and a liability for someone else.  The potentially smart thing to do is buy a rental property, but what I want to do is buy a new vehicle.  My family tells me "you only live once"...which may be true - but do I also want to be richer or poorer in the long run given the economic trend of low wages, job uncertainty, and constant increase in prices?  Which would you choose?


March 26, 2014

Invest Now? Or Wait?

I've been doing some market research and came across this chart for the S&P 500 (I added some graphics to highlight certain points):

If history is any indication of the future, based on this chart, we're due for a market correction between 2014 and 2015.  The green arrows represent the market at it's highest point (with the exception of the last "high" arrow), and the red arrows represent the market at its lowest.  The yellow circles at the bottom represent the time period of a typical 6-7 year cycle of the market.

Sometimes you have to know where you've come in order to know where you're going.  

Additionally, the economy seems to be slowly gaining traction thanks to the central banks pumping liquidity into the system and interest rates remaining low.  Corporate earnings are excellent including several M&A activity (mergers and acquisitions), stock buy back programs, and today's CEO annual salary resembling that of professional athlete contracts.  

Historically, it looks like the market needs to correct itself.  But with the Feds and every other central bank keeping it afloat...the market may just keep climbing - unless:
  • there's some type of war
  • or civil unrest
  • or perhaps a looming "bubble" pops
  • or a systemic credit default occurs
If you think something will happen - be ready with cash on hand to jump in and pick up some great bargains on stocks (as there will plenty!).  If you're more optimistic - there are plenty of deals to be had now in the market as American manufacturing, durable goods, consumer confidence, etc. ticks up higher.  

But as for me, I'm cautiously optimistic...for now.  Therefore, I'm looking to go long with a little protection in case there's a downside.  


March 22, 2014

The Big Taper

There are a ton of signals saying the market will go higher...and on the contrary, just as many signals
saying the market will go lower.  Chairwoman Yellen gave an interesting press conference earlier this week (for those of us geeks who listened!) and mentioned that the Fed will be tapering off completely sometime this fall which temporarily sent markets low.  This should also be the signal/premise that interest rates will creep higher (which could also signal a decline in the bond market).

Nevertheless, the market is flush with cash (thanks to the Feds) and decent corporate earnings which is sending the stock market to record highs.  Plus, an unemployment rate that is slowly declining isn't a bad thing as well when it comes to helping investors find good investments on the cheap.

Investors are searching for answers in all the right places, but can't find a solid answer.   The talking heads on TV (CNBC, Bloomberg, WSJ, etc). are arguing back and forth about the direction and outlook of the economy.   And this is normal, because when it comes to investing...or even the outlook of the economy...nothing is an exact science.  Nothing one can make an exact or totally accurate prediction of the future.

What do you do???  Where do you invest?  How do you invest?

The best strategy would be to research and consume tons of market & economic data, map out a plan for successful trading, and make a few tweaks here and there along they way.  We don't have to necessarily get our information from the reporters on TV (they're usually better at reporting on what's in hindsight).  Do your own research & attend learning events (webinars, conferences, talk to industry leaders, etc.).  This way you avoid the short term "noise" that could throw you off course when it comes to your investing.

PS - It feels good to be back in the blog-o-sphere!  I've been away on other projects.  Thanks to the readers who contacted me and asked about the blog.  It was great feedback that I needed to hear.  I've been doing a lot of research and ready to deliver some new and potent content.


February 12, 2014

Healthcare Costs


January 22, 2014