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Independent Investor

Mind the gap, please

As the unemployment rate drops toward full employment, the growing skills gap between business and labor is becoming a huge problem in this country. Fully 80 percent of manufacturers and small business owners can’t find qualified staff.

Mind the gap, please

As the unemployment rate drops toward full employment, the growing skills gap between business and labor is becoming a huge problem in this country. Fully 80 percent of manufacturers and small business owners can’t find qualified staff.

The economics of the desperate migration across Europe

A stream of destitute refugees arrives on European shores every day. Greece, Hungary and Italy have borne the brunt of this migration, but the ocean of displaced persons this year has already swamped their resources. It is a life-and-death crisis that demands an answer now.

How to teach your kid to become the next Buffet

Children in America need to learn more about money. How to value it, save it, spend it and retire on it. The evidence thus far indicates that we have all been doing a poor job in educating our kids. Here are some suggestions to remedy that failing.

Baby Boomers: Your kids don’t want your stuff

You saved all your life, acquiring all sorts of assets that you now want to leave to your children. Today, more and more Baby Boomers are finding that their kids just don’t want that antique auto or that original oil painting.

Tiny houses gain wider appeal

Tiny houses gain wider appeal

In this era of tight credit, high-priced McMansions and rapid lifestyle changes, the American Housing Dream may no longer be defined as a three-bedroom homestead on half an acre. For many Americans of all ages, there is a movement afoot to downsize their living space dramatically. 

Supermarkets need to evolve to survive, and they are

We take our local supermarkets for granted. Like gas stations, there seems to be one on almost every corner, at least in suburbia. With competition from a variety of sources, supermarkets have been forced to reinvent themselves and are doing a good job of it. 

Are you ready for the repercussions of El Niño?

It’s that time again. Trade winds in the Pacific are blowing west to east, pushing warm water to the surface. In times past, those conditions wreaked havoc with much of the world’s weather, creating everything from fires to floods, sometimes in epic proportions. Some weather models predict this year’s El Niño could rank among the worst.

Does another trade pact make economic sense?

Politicians in both houses of Congress need to decide whether the proposed Trans-Pacific, 12-nation trade pact makes economic sense. It does, and we should jump on it.

Brazil: not for the faint of heart

Beset by scandals that could reach as high as the presidential office, suffering from an epic drought, low oil prices, high inflation, a declining currency and a negative economic growth rate, the world’s seventh largest economy could be an interesting long-term investment — but not for the faint of heart.