Blog

Breakfast Indicator
LJPR 06-25-2014 09:30
In the information age of today, there are myriad indicators for the economy ranging from the employment numbers to the men’s underwear indicator. They wouldn’t exist if they didn’t have some merit but none tell the full story. So, why not add one more? I propose the “Breakfast Indicator”, which is currently anecdotal, though testing will commence soon. If fast-food restaurants have lines waiting for breakfast, the economy is improving or doing well. Fast-food companies expanding to offer menus including breakfast clearly see opportunities, implying people are buying more breakfast, furthering the claim. Why does this indicate a strengthening (strong)...
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Fire in the Hole: Lesson LearnedI dodged a potential big loss last month.  Anne, my wife, and I have a nice house and a very nice kitchen.  Anne is a gourmet chef, so we have really good (and expensive) appliances.  One fateful morning one of our appliances went rogue.  The control panel in the stove shorted out and the stove burst into flames.  Once a month we have cleaning ladies come in and, luckily for us, they were at the house and they're tough.  One hit the circuit breaker and the other called 911 and ran across the street to get...
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Detroit Bankruptcy Plan:  A Lose-Lose for Retirees and a Math ProblemOn February 21st, the city of Detroit emergency manager, Kevin Orr, presented a plan to U.S. District Court Judge Steven Rhodes to bring Detroit out of bankruptcy. One salient point of the plan is a reduction to the pensions of Detroit retirees. Police and fire retirees are poised for a 10% cut (4% if they accept right away), and general retirees are set to take a 34% reduction. This is on top of a giant increase in retiree health care costs, where the retirees will get a fraction of the...
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The Michigan Alpha Project:The Ultimate ‘Made in Michigan’There’s an unexpected emerging market in North America that has a market capitalization larger than either Indonesia or Thailand, and larger than Ireland and Israel combined. That emerging market is Michigan. From November 2012 to November 2013, Michigan employment rose at double the rate of U.S. employment growth. Companies headquartered in Michigan have experienced good returns (25.2% annualized versus 20.93% on the S&P 500) since 03/06/2009. Additionally, these Michigan companies represent a diverse number of industries that are now competing across the globe.This exciting trend and its breadth of opportunity for growth has...
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Our Outlook for 2014
LJPR 01-20-2014 12:50
Happy New Year!Our Outlook for 2014We would like to thank all our clients and friends of the firm for a terrific year. For now, the economic and political climate looks favorable. We have developed a piece detailing our 2014 Outlook, which is available on the web at ljpr.com/outlook. In it, you'll find an overview of our perspective on the economic, investment, tax and estate...
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The Battle of the Budget:Upcoming Fiscal Battles 2013-2014It seems that the markets and the public have very short memories, with the budget and debt ceiling debacle behind us, having been effectively kicked down the road to January.  However, we have the makings of a Greek three-act drama (the allusion to Greece is intentional, I assure you).  Each act plays out, the first an exposition (establishing the main characters), the second act rising actions (where the protagonists try to resolve the situation), and a climax (where it comes to a head).  Here’s our impending drama and our critique: [Note: C Indicates...
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