WindRock - Displaying items by tag: Other

The Ligation of Regulation

Published in Articles
Friday, 12 May 2017

Donald Trump's Whig is Showing

Published in Articles
Thursday, 23 March 2017





Solving Healthcare's Crushing Costs

Published in Podcasts
Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Business owners are well aware of the skyrocketing healthcare premiums impacting their businesses.  Former President Bill Clinton recently described the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) as the “craziest thing in the world.”

But even before Americans experienced its negative side effects, the healthcare industry has long been plagued by unknown prices, inaccessibility, and crushing costs.

Some doctors seek to reverse this trend by offering services at a fraction of typical costs while displaying full price transparency. WindRock interviews Drs. Keith Smith and Steven Lantier, founders of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma (“SCO”) which offers a unique solution for patients.

They discuss: how they came to embrace price transparency and establish themselves as a cost-effective solution; what patients can do to dramatically lower surgery costs even if they do not utilize SCO; which interventions by government drive up healthcare costs; and why other healthcare providers have not embraced price transparency.  February 2017.

Is Trump the Next Reagan?

Published in Blog
Thursday, 15 December 2016
December, 2016

Since the election, a newfound optimism about the economy has propelled the U.S. stock market higher.  This optimism has led many to compare Trump with Reagan and conclude with similar expectations about economic growth.  On the surface, the comparison appears reasonable: both were political outsiders promising to shake up the status quo and both were largely products of worldwide (albeit different) political movements.  However, any comparative analysis soon leads to more differences than similarities.

First, Reagan possessed far greater political power and flexibility.  The 1980 election was a landslide in his favor: 489 electoral votes to Carter’s 49, 51% of the popular vote to Carter’s 41%.  The election would have been even more lopsided absent the participation of the independent John Anderson who captured almost 7% of the popular vote. Reagan possessed the classic political definition of a mandate, whereas Trump had 2.5 million less votes than Clinton.

It is true that, unlike Reagan, Trump will be working with Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, but it is questionable how beneficial this situation will prove to be.  While Reagan represented the conservative wing of the Republican party, Trump is largely an outsider within his own party.  Already, congressional Republicans are seeking to mitigate Trump’s legislative ambitions.  And while Reagan drew the support of many congressional Democrats, Trump is unlikely to gain political defectors in advancing his agenda.

Second, and perhaps far worse than the political situation, the current levels of interest rates and debt inhibit Trump’s economic and budgetary flexibility:

While Reagan inherited a crisis, Trump inherits a crisis in waiting.  Until such a crisis manifests itself, we believe Trump will encounter difficulty in enacting any sweeping policies.

For this reason, while the current stock market rally is significant and sharp, it is also coming off of near-record valuations.  When Reagan took office, U.S. stocks were unloved and trading at single digit price-to-earnings multiples of 9X versus today’s 27X valuation.  Under Reagan, stocks were priced for expected economic misery, but falling interest rates and economic growth lead to rising stock valuations.  Under Trump, stocks are already priced for perfection despite the likely headwind of increasing interest rates.

Trump may or may not be the next Reagan as it relates to disruptive policies.  Either way, investor returns over the next four years are more likely to be impacted by interest rates and valuations, both of which are near extremes.

Sources:  Robert Shiller, St. Louis Federal Reserve.

Notes:  PE ratios represent cyclically adjusted price earnings ratios (CAPEs); interest rates represent the 10-year treasury yield; Debt is gross federal debt with the most recent data point as of January 1, 2015, Reagan era data as of January, 1981.

What Happens To Markets After Brexit?

Published in Podcasts
Tuesday, 05 July 2016

Christopher Casey of WindRock Wealth Management was recently interviewed by Jason Burack of Wall St. for Main St.  Their conversation addressed the following topics: Brexit and its ramifications; Austrian economic theory and its application to the investment world; current stock market valuations; the 2016 oil rally; precious metals; and the importance of diversification.  June 2016.

Investment Themes with Attractive Yields

Published in Podcasts
Thursday, 03 December 2015

Interest rates crashed with the 2008 financial crisis and have flatlined at historic lows.  Low yields and dividends hurt investors seeking current income.  Their only perceived options have been to chase higher yields by accepting greater credit risk or longer time horizons.  WindRock believes other solutions exist.

Brett Rentmeester of WindRock Wealth Management was recently interviewed by Gordon T. Long of the Financial Repression Authority.  Their conversation addressed three categories of interest:

  • Secured Private Lending – Why private pools of capital have formed to take advantage of lending in areas that the Too-Big-To-Fail banks are neglecting.
  • Farmland – How this inefficient mom-and-pop industry can pay investors strong rental income today with inflation protection for the future.
  • Unique Rental Real Estate – Why a growing demographic of Americans are choosing to rent instead of owning a home which is creating opportunities serving “Renters By Choice.”
December 2015.

WindRock interviews John Mauldin, Chairman of Mauldin Economics, about research for his new book, The Age of Transformation.  This book will focus on key technology trends expected to dramatically reshape our world.  Mr. Mauldin discusses; how three billion individuals will gain access to the Internet and unleash powerful entrepreneurial forces; why biotechnology and customized medicine will mitigate and reverse the negative side effects of aging; when developments in 3D printing and self-driving vehicles will impact how goods are made and shipped; and why the next two-to-three years may be very volatile as the world struggles with record debt levels before realizing the benefits of these technological trends.  November 2015.

Bob Murphy, Adrian Day, Keith Weiner and Christopher Casey of WindRock Wealth Management address the following topics on a panel presentation moderated by Justin Mohr of The Justin Mohr Show: why should investors consider alternative investments such as precious metals; what future actions is the Federal Reserve expected to take; should investors attempt to time the market; and what is the future of the U.S. dollar and how does it affect other financial assets?  July 2015

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