Jun102019

            By Boots Johnson

A short ride in the red boat last Tuesday on the Feather River produced four nice stripers along with about 20 or so shakers which were released to grow for next year. We hit upon a school and quietly dropped anchor and within fifteen minutes I had two fish on. The fish were so hungry they were hitting the bait as we bumped it downstream.

We will be in Tahoe in June for the annual mackinaw fishing trip out of South Shore and will be taking along Val’s daughter Laura from Texas and her son Mathew who will be here from Holland. Looking forward to an exciting day as usual.

Shad are still in the system and area being caught all over the local rivers.  These fish are real fighters for their size and are a thrill to catch and release.

Expect the cooler weather last week and into the weekend to turn again hot and will more than likely stay that way for a while.

Roads in the high country are finally opening up and some of the high lakes and reservoirs are now clear of ice. Look to this year as a bumper crop of successful fishing and a great year for water conservation. We are looking forward to great times for all who fish in the valley, foothills and the high Sierra Nevada Mountains.

To T.J. and Annika we say congratulations on a baby girl to become a part of the Johnson and Petersen families in the near future. God bless.

We are looking forward to the coming fishing season in the high country. It will be wonderful  to wet a line and share in the outdoors and especially for those who chase after the elusive trout, the wary bass and the other fish who swim in the waters of this great state of California.

Closing thought: “Never forget the miracles of Mother Nature……………help to preserve all of the wildlife for our future generations.”

Jun102019

Can you protect your stocks from a falling market automatically?

 

In the world of investing, protecting profits and limiting losses is tantamount to success. The most common method of protecting your money from downside whether it be to keep profits or limit losses, may be to sell out all or some of your holdings and turn that into cash.

You could have a preset price on percentage in mind, much like going to a casino to play a slot machine and the spouse says you can’t lose more than $200. Although most people exercise good money management at the one armed bandit, far fewer people have this exit point strategy in mind when dealing with their retirement funds.

Is it wise to have an exit strategy?

One only needs to remember how it felt during the 2008/09 market freefall. Thoughts of losing it all put the squeeze on many investors grey matter and more than a few investors and advisors lost some sleep during those dreadful times.

That said, having a predetermined sell point might be a good idea in case of a catastrophic market collapse. No one can say it will or won’t happen of course.

Investors could just keep in the back of their mind a predetermined selling point. Something like if they lose a certain amount or if a stock hits a certain price, you call your broker and tell them to sell. The problem here is you might forget, lose your nerve, change your mind or worse yet, be unable to get through to your broker, which can happen during severe market upheavals.

However there is a way you can enter a sell order automatically on certain types of stocks and funds with some exceptions of course.

A “stop” order can be entered ahead of time by phone, computer or otherwise. These work by keeping your order on file and when the price is hit, the sell order is transmitted to the appropriate people in the market place who then attempt to sell your stock.

This order can be placed usually anytime and at any price you prefer. They work like this:

Suppose you have a stock that is $100 a share today and you decide you want out at $90.00 or lower.  You enter your order as a “stop” order (in lieu of a market or limit order) at $90.

That order will sit for a predetermined amount of time, usually 60 days, and if the stock never hits $90 the order expires at the end of the term. If the stock does hit 90 anytime during the timeframe the stop order then becomes a market order. This means when your order hits the trade pits you get the market price for it. This also means you could get less or more than your stop price. In fast moving markets, your stop price, becoming a market order, means you get what they give you when your order hits the front of the line.

Another type of stop order is to add the word “limit” to the above order and enter a “stop limit” order.

The “stop limit “order means you want out at a certain price and will take no less than that price.

Although this sounds like a better way to go, the old adage there are no free lunches comes into play. Suppose you own the same stock at $100 a share and you enter the order under a “stop limit” (versus a stop order) at the same $90 price as before. The stock hits 90 and your order triggers. In this case, your order instructs the market makers to get you $90 but no less.

Should the market be moving fast and because your order again has to wait in line, if the stock keeps dropping, you may not get out. The market makers have their marching orders from you which are “I want $90 and no less”. If the stock hit 90, and your order triggered, but while waiting to get filled the stock kept dropping, if it now is below 90 and because you said you want 90 and no less, you MIGHT NOT get out at all, or only get partially filled.

Summarizing: a “stop” order will certainly get you out but the price you get may be below your stop price. A “stop limit” will get your price but you might not get out at all or only be partially filled.

Keep in mind during the 1000 point flash crash (August 24th, 2015) the drop happened so fast, many stop orders were filled significantly below their stop price. Keep in mind stop-limit and stop orders may not prevent losses and there is no guarantee of being filled under ideal conditions but these types of orders do illustrate some strategies that many investors might not be aware of. Contact your local financial professional for more information on protections strategies that may be available to you.

This article expresses the opinions of Marc Cuniberti and are opinions only and should not be construed or acted upon as individual investment advice. Mr. Cuniberti is an Investment Advisor Representative through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Marc can be contacted at SMC Wealth Management, 164 Maple St #1, Auburn, CA 95603 (530) 559-1214. SMC and Cambridge are not affiliated. His website is www.moneymanagementradio.com. California Insurance License # OL34249

With the 2020 presidential elections coming, I am sure there are more than a few of us dreading the whole fiasco that awaits us. For the last 3 years America has been bombarded with party infighting that compares to almost nothing we have witnessed before. And that’s before the election campaigning even starts.

Ugh.

I must say the hate between parties is real. The same could be said for some fellow Americans who now cast an evil eye on any member of the opposite party. Support Sanders?  You bloody commie. Love Trump? You’re a racist bigot. However you cut it, it’s disgracefully distasteful.

With 17 months left before we pull the handle to elect a new (or perhaps re-elect a standing) President, both sides of the political aisle are doing overtime stockpiling rhetoric, facts, fiction and spin to bombard the other side into political oblivion. If there ever was a scorched earth policy, this upcoming election proves to be a possible example of not only scorching the ground, but essentially blowing it to kingdom come and then some. It is going to be that bad. Or good, depending on your definition of entertainment.

Economically, I can’t guarantee how the markets will react, but one might consider what the markets did after November 16, 2016. That was the Trump election of course. I won’t tell you what happened so you can check out a graph on stock performance in your local financial news source and see for yourself.

Teach a man to fish right?

If Trump is victorious, could we see a similar direction, or then again maybe not. Would the markets love a socialist leaning president? I don’t know. Socialism is sort of anti-business in its stance, but who knows in today’s upside down world where bad news is sometimes good for markets while good news is sometimes anything but.

Of course, impeachment is always possible I guess. Can’t figure out what that’s about except to say why impeach if we have an election coming and we’re convinced the anti-Trump clan will win.

But then again, maybe it’s not a slam dunk so impeachment solves the election problem before it starts.  Not so dumb to cover your bases.

But didn’t Clinton (as in Bill) get impeached yet remained in office? Must be a few recipes for an impeachment and each apparently yields a different outcome. I myself was driving home from work when I heard Clinton (as in Bill) was impeached and remember wondering how long it would take to swear in his replacement.

Never happened.

Still trying to figure that one out. With the armies of people calling for Trumps impeachment, wonder how many will be scratching their heads when (and if) he stays in office anyway. That will be interesting to watch.

In any case, I am sure as most probably are you, that this isn’t going to be just a double feature, but an all-out marathon of political extremes with more fireworks than a bicentennial Fourth of July celebration at Disneyland. I actually did go there on the bicentennial but oddly enough don’t remember the fireworks. Wonder why that was?

Anyway, I took a ride in a back seat of a Thunderbird pilot’s jet once and spent an hour or so doing more things than a lifetime of roller coasters could ever show me. I trained for it for months so I didn’t get sick. But like many who have done the same thing, the ride can be the greatest thrill of your life, or, if you’re puking your guts out the whole time, your worst nightmare that you can’t wait to end.

I think the election is going to be kind of like that jet ride. A wonderful spectacle, or more of a mess than we can possibly imagine.

Marc Cuniberti hosts “Money Matters” on KVMR FM aired on 65 radio stations nationwide. He is a financial columnist for a variety of publications. Marc holds a BA in Economics from SDU with honors 1979. His website is moneymanagementradio.com and he can be reached at (530) 559-1214. Visit him on Facebook (FB) under Marc Cuniberti and also on the "Money Matters” and “Money Matters Investing in Community" FB pages. The views expressed are opinions only.

Jun32019

 

               BY Boots Johnson

Longtime friends Ted Johnson, who resides in Yuba City and Ken Malott, who lives in Grass Valley decided to fish the opening weekend at Eagle Lake. In fact, they decided to stay at the lake five days. To their surprise the opener was not crowded as expected. The famous eagle lake trout was caught and on some days limits were taken. The fish averaged a couple pounds with two caught Memorial Day which ran close to three  pounds. Trolling did the trick, according to Ted, with fish being taken in shallow water. Ken’s Uncle Carl Malotte joined them on Sunday. The trip was completed with a wonderful meal of trout tacos and all the trimmings.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the following waters were planted with catchable trout: EL DORADO COUNTY: Silver fork of the American River, Ice House Reservoir, Sawmill Pond, Stumpy Meadows Reservoir and Walton Pond. LAKE COUNTY: Pillsbury Reservoir. SHASTA COUNTY: Kilarc Reservoir. SIERRA COUNTY: Lower Sardine Lake. TEHAMA COUNTY: South Fork of Battle Creek, Deer Creek and Gurnsey Creek.

The kokanee salmon are being caught at Bullard’s Bar Reservoir on a regular basis at this time with limits common. Over at Collins Lake above Browns Valley the trout were big last week and most of the large rainbows were caught by boaters.  We are told the trout are moving deep and can be found in the deepest part of the reservoir. The bass population at Lake Oroville is still on a huge bite with the fish being found at around 6 to 20 feet. On the other hand the landlocked salmon are also available in this lake. Lake Davis is fully accessible by boat at this time. The trout population is cooperating with anglers with hot spots being at Mallard and Eagle Point. Trolling is producing some fish in excess of 20 inches. The gates at Jackson Meadows Lake should be open by the time this paper is published. We suggest calling in advance to be sure about road conditions there.

Closing thought: “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors and you will find yourself a better person.”

 

           

            The Bookstore Booster group is doing all they can to help Books & More stay afloat financially. We had a hot dog lunch during Memorial Day weekend. Now there is a new seasonal newsletter available at the store that has the new list of craft workshops. One newest crafter to sign up is Geney Holley. She is offering a Memory Book project starting on July 6. If this is of interest to some people, she will extend the project to other days. Each Saturday morning there is a workshop of some kind held in our meeting room. There are several regular workshops available: Vera Hecker – drawing, David Giles – art, Jani Beckwith – art, Pennie Goodwin – knitting and more. Give us a call 675-3275.

            The one month of the year that Hill Top Gang changes the date of Sunday breakfasts happens in June. Because they offer a Mother's Day breakfast in May, people asked for a Father's Day breakfast. So in June the breakfast will happen on June 16. The breakfast on Saturdays will happen on the last Saturday of the month, June 29. On both of those days there will be an Ice Cream Social at Yuba Feather Museum in Forbestown in the afternoon. Sounds like a pretty good day.

            The Lutheran Women’s Mission League will be holding a bake sale on Saturday, June 15th at the Brownsville Mercantile. Stop by between 10 am and 3 pm to purchase a delicious treat for Dad. As you know, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Of course, the goodies could be sold out before 3 pm so be sure to get there early.

            Look Back in Time – In 1925 the roads in Clipper Mills had been scraped and are now in good condition (wonder if it was snow).

            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon. Christine and Yvonne

 

 
 

 

Rain, hail fall on Central Valley crops

Storms during the Memorial Day weekend threaten damage to a number of California crops. In the San Joaquin Valley, storms dropped large hail that could affect crops including tomato and cotton plants, plus peach, nectarine and cherry trees. Agricultural commissioners say it may be several days before the impact becomes more clear. In the Sierra Nevada, the snowpack now stands at nearly twice-average for the date.

New project evaluates changing range conditions

To see how range and pastureland respond to changing rainfall and temperature patterns, researchers will simulate a variety of conditions at a University of California facility in Yuba County. UC specialists have earned a grant to create shelters that will allow them to control the precipitation and temperature on a research plot. The project will help the researchers learn how rangeland plants and weeds perform under predicted weather scenarios.  

 

California leads floriculture production

If you buy flowers or garden plants grown in the United States, chances remain strong that those plants come from California. A new government report shows California continues to lead the nation in production of floriculture crops. The Golden State accounts for more than three-quarters of U.S.-grown cut flowers, and also leads in categories including bedding and garden plants, and flowering potted plants.

 

Prune marketers rebrand their crop

Once marketed as dried plums, California prunes will now be called just that--California prunes--in a new marketing campaign. The California Prune Board says the rebranding emphasizes the "premium reputation" of the state's crop, which is sold in the United States and dozens of countries around the world. The board's executive director says the idea is to change prunes from an occasional choice to a "daily pleasure" that brings a number of health benefits.  

 

Starring: Elizabeth Banks,

David Denman, and Jackson A. Dunn

Rated: R Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

3/5

            A young Kansas couple find a baby in spaceship that crash landed in their back yard. Things go awry twelve years later when this Superman like character walks in the opposite direction on the moral spectrum that Superman did. Well, he walks then runs then flies faster than a speeding bullet into full blown evil land. (Not a spoiler. The trailers plainly show this.)

            Brightburn, earns three out of five, Jaw Dropping Monkeys. This is not a feel good superhero movie or a redeeming villain movie. This movie is an exploration into what happens absolute power corrupts absolutely. The story is well written, and the acting is good. The special effects are great and the gore level in this movie is high. So, if you are squeamish about such things then, Aladdin, may be a better choice for you.

May282019

 

               By Boots Johnson

This is the time of year that all people who fish love. We, who spend many hours with a fishing pole in hand, enjoy not only the outdoors but to be able to catch breakfast, lunch or dinner fresh from many different kinds of water is a wonderful experience for young and old alike. For those who do not eat fish and who enjoy catching them there is always catch and release. This is one thing hunting cannot provide because once you pull the trigger it is the end. No so with fishing because you have a choice, a choice to keep or release.

My passion has always been trout fishing. Fly fishing, thanks to my Dad, is instilled in me to the point that when traveling along a stream in the high country at no matter what speed the vehicle is going I always look for different parts of the water and always seem to know what the best spots will hold the most fish, or for that matter maybe the biggest ever.

I have never gone fishing to catch the biggest fish, but always to catch whatever is available. But I must admit the thought of the “Big One” is always on my mind and more than likely on yours as well.

I was seven years old when I caught my first rainbow trout. My Dad had purchased the fishing gear and I was so excited the night before we left for the high country I did not sleep a wink. A couple hours later we arrived at the stream. Dad was very patient showing me how to tie this and that and all the rest of the things necessary to cast the first line. It was very difficult for a seven year old boy to manage an eight foot fly rod let alone following his lead. I will never forget that trout even though it was only seven inches long.

I have suggested many times over the years for those with children to take them along, show them how to fish and teach them the rules of the outdoors. After my boys were grown I took my grandsons fishing and have taken many youngsters unrelated to me. This is all about the future of fishing. We need to show the younger generation and hope they will also get the bug for fishing.

Closing thought: “You get out of life what you put into it.”

 

I don’t mean to categorize people as to their beliefs and political ideals, but at least in the county where I live and indeed when I travel, I can almost guarantee I can peg whether a person supports the administration or despises it. I use the harsh word of despise as I find most if not all the people who are against Trump not only don’t favor him much, they hate him vehemently.

A sad observation on today’s political climate. Staying on sad observations for a bit longer, the stories about how people displaying the American flag are now assumed to be Trump supporters, I really wonder what is happening to America, both economically and morally.

A story about two high school girls displaying a Trump banner and wearing Trump hats that were suspended from school was deeply disturbing. No matter what you think about Trump, he is duly elected and still legally in office, so how displaying support for such could end you up in legal trouble (at least temporarily) is baffling.

It just goes to show how tilted and off kilter people are becoming and how supposedly democratic civilizations slowly arch into the grey areas of prejudice, racism, sexism and political suppression all in the name of what one might view as a substantiated and therefore valid opinion. The migration away from our ideals under the guise of outrage results in a violation of the basic rights of freedom, religious and political expression.

Pro-Trump rallies and speakers are not given equal time or cancelled altogether, GOP supporters are vilified, students are expelled or worse, all because of their beliefs may not mesh with others. In years past these things were generally categorized a just a differing opinion. Not so today.

I am not saying I support the current administration or am against it. I have always said when pressed, I have liked and have not liked the certain actions of all our Presidents. In other words, I “line item” their actions and therefore my opinions of the commanders in chief, both past and present, are not party specific but more action specific.

I don’t like many things Trump does and that mirrors what I felt for Obama, both Bushes, Clinton and on down the line of the many Presidents I have had the pleasure to serve under.

I can say if I run into a grease or paint covered business owner, a tie and suited salesmen, insurance agent, stock broker, ex-military or policeman, among others that bust their you-know-what for a living, I would wager the majority of them support the GOP elect, although they may not readily admit it.

On the hand, lawyers, teachers, non-profit employees, the service industry and the under or unemployed usually fall on the opposite side of the political spectrum. I know this sounds like cruel and unusual punishment to assume such, but hey, I’m just saying my favorite sport is fishing for political belief, and in the process of baiting the proverbial hook and knowing a heck of a lot of people, I tend to observe and then draw conclusions from what that observation.

As to racism and sexism, since I mentioned it, I chuckle when I read, more than a few times from left leaning social media, who supposedly vehemently claim to hate intolerance of all kinds, post just such things on media outlets. Those professing to despise intolerance seem to practice a lot of it. We all despise it and some past the point of reason. Some just take it a bit too far to one side then swing violently to the other if given a perceived just cause.

Some of the glowing examples are “we don’t need any more old white men as President”, or “its high time we elect a woman” among other such absurdities.

In my opinion, if we want to do away with the scourge that is prejudice, we leave out race, gender and color from all reference, no matter what the platform. Ditto for those that ostracize anyone that politically believes not as they do or elect to key the cars of those that display Old Glory for glories sake. I would tell them to just grow up and stop it. This is America and the last time I looked free speech and opinion was not only legal, it provides the checks and balances that make America the great country it is, or was, as the case may be.

In conclusion, I sincerely hope all the polarization and hate that seemingly has become a favorite pastime of many of our fellow Americans passes like a train in the night and America will once again be united in its citizenry. One thing I have learned over six decades of living, what we think is forever never is, and what we fear will always be won’t be.

Can’t we just all get along?

Marc Cuniberti hosts “Money Matters” on KVMR FM aired on 65 radio stations nationwide. He is a financial columnist for a variety of publications. Marc holds a BA in Economics from SDU with honors 1979. His website is moneymanagementradio.com and he can be reached at (530) 559-1214. Visit him on Facebook (FB) under Marc Cuniberti and also on the "Money Matters” and “Money Matters Investing in Community" FB pages. The views expressed are opinions only.

 

 
 

 

May storms threaten California crops

In much of California the next few days, farmers will work to assess the impact of mid-May rains, and they'll watch the skies for the threat of additional storms. Cherry growers in the northern San Joaquin Valley say rain split some of the ripening fruit on their trees. The storms interrupted berry harvest in Central California and brought concern for growers of grapes, tree nuts and other crops. Rain further delayed planting of crops including rice.

Farmers, exporters monitor trade talks

As one trade dispute affecting California farmers intensifies, another has lessened. In an ongoing trade disagreement, China plans to increase tariffs effective June 1 on a number of agricultural products, including some affected by earlier retaliatory tariffs. But announcement of the end of a separate dispute with Mexico and Canada promises to boost exports of a number of California farm products.

 

Postponing harvest benefits protected birds

By delaying their wheat harvest, a Merced County dairy family has helped protected birds lay their eggs. The dairy farmers grew the wheat to feed cows, but an estimated 25,000 tricolored blackbirds chose to nest in the field. The farmers agreed not to harvest the wheat until the birds leave, even though that may reduce the value of the crop. A cooperative program provides technical and financial aid to farmers who help the birds.

 

Expect more meat, milk and eggs on the market

Forecasts for positive economic conditions in the U.S. contribute to a likely increase in the nation's production of meat, milk and eggs. The U.S. Agriculture Department says it expects production of most animal proteins to rise slightly in 2020. The forecast includes additional production of beef, pork, turkey, chicken, eggs and milk. USDA says it expects lamb production to decline slightly next year.     

 
 

 

   On Saturday, June 1, the Yuba Feather Museum in Forbestown opens for the summer season. They will be opening the gate to the replica village, Gold Trader Flat, at 9 am. One of the events of the day will be a chili cook-off so come and vote for your favorite chili. Gunfighters will be visiting the museum during the day, that always adds some excitement. Both the museum and the village have many interesting displays. We love to wander the village and imagine living in the area during gold rush times. Inside the museum one of the new displays features toys of the era, kids had no screen time back then. The museum will close at 4:00, but will reopen on weekends during the summer from noon until 4:00.  Docents will be there to welcome you, so come on by and bring a friend.

            So few people showed up at the last blood drive that they said they would have to drop Brownsville as Vilalant location. We really hope that will not happen. So in honor of Mickie Miller, who strongly promoted the Blood Drives in the past, let's work to make this a great drive. Please show up to donate blood on Wednesday, June 5 at the Ponderosa Community Center from 2:30 to 5:30. Please bring a photo ID; eat well and drink plenty of water before you come. As a “thank you”, receive a Vialant T-shirt.

            There is a new sheriff in town, Wendell Anderson, and he will be holding a town hall meeting on Wednesday, May 29th at the Ponderosa Community Center from 6:30 to 8:00pm. If you have questions, concerns, etc. come meet Sheriff Anderson.

            The last day of school is June 7th and this means the munchkins will be out about enjoying their summer vacation. They have been known to pop out onto the road without warning so be aware. We wish all the munchkins a fun and safe summer.

            Look Back in Time – In 1910 the traction engines and train of cars changed from wood to oil burners. They hauled 21 tons of freight to Woodleaf merchants (that's a lot of freight).

            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon. Christine and Yvonne

May202019

 

               By Boots Johnson

Lake Oroville is now at capacity and the fishing could not be better. Rains these past days have raised rivers, streams and reservoirs. All the rain has also either muddied up the water or has made it murky.

The opening of Eagle Lake is just around the corner and we expect a large turnout as usual. Make sure you bring warm clothes for this one as usual, but more so this year. We are told the fish will be cooperating and should be in the two to four pound range. These feisty trout, a strain all their own, are a kick to catch and are wonderful eating.

Conditions in the high country tell us different tactics may be needed for success on the trout stream. Close the fly box or wallet and fish with live bait. The famous earthworm is always a good choice. Look in the water for other insects, including hellgrammites, which are killers on any stream. Grubs may be found if you use a screen to catch the insects. Sometimes size is important as well as color. I always used a gob of trout worms when the water was not clear. Remember, when fishing with bait it must be on the bottom. Using a small weight, even a couple of split shot will do the trick. I have even caught trout on the skeleton of may flies which can be found on the side of exposed rocks and boulders when nothing else will produce. We also must not forget the hardware, such as spoons, spinners, jugs and plugs. In addition, salmon eggs are popular, although I prefer other baits as a first choice.

I don’t know how many of you out there rely on the phases of the moon but this is a proven way to score with any type of fishing. According to charts the best day to fish in May is the 31st between 10 A.M. and 12 Noon. Into June the best days are the first to the 6th with early afternoon fishing is best from the 4th to the 6th.

We talked to our weather source. He advised the month of May has always been wet on occasion in past years. He also recalls snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in almost all months of the year during past spring and summers. He also told me to expect a warm summer this year but it will be shorter than past years bringing wet weather to the valley floor and the mountains as early as September.

For those who fish the lakes and reservoirs we suggest, on windy days, to drift with the wind while trolling. Turn off the motor and just drift with the wind. You might be surprised what you catch and also the enjoyment and relaxation this type of fishing provides.

Closing thought: “Fishing is a great sport, but remember to crimp the barbs on the hook when you catch and release.”

 

Starring: Ryan Reynolds,

 Justice Smith, and Kathryn Newton

Rated: PG  Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

4/5

            A young man travels to a city where Pokémon and humans live in harmony in order to settle his fathers affairs. He stumbles onto the mystery of his fathers disappearance and a nefarious plot that will affect both humans and Pokémon alike.

            Pokémon Detective Pikachu, earns four out of five, Purple Gas Monkeys. The story is well written and builds the Pokémon world in a way that includes those of us not already familiar. The acting fits perfectly with the style of the film and the effects are very well done. You should be more than entertained after watching this movie.

 

 

Famous investor Warren Buffet, in a recent article New York Times in the entitled: “Warren Buffett’s Case for Capitalism”, claims a capitalistic society is the best system for America. “I’m a card carrying capitalist” said Buffett.

In recent years, capitalism at least in some circles has been blamed for income inequality, the rise of excessive corporate greed and the plight of the American worker.

On the surface, the negatives to our capitalistic system seem valid. The average worker is finding it harder and harder to make ends meet as the stock market hits all-time highs.  The polarization of the two seems clear and it’s easy to draw the cause and effect conclusion that one has led to the other.

That would hold true if our system was truly capitalistic. And although the American economy does retain some aspects of a capitalistic system sadly, many of the most important checks and balances of capitalism have been removed or compromised by meddling governments over the decades. 

Those hating on capitalism largely get their information from the many news media outlets, most of which also don’t understand capitalism and hence don’t report on the important aspects that are missing in today’s America. Without such education and hence media exposure, Americans are left to only misinformation about their economy, and hence push unknowingly to destroy it.

Capitalism is not synonymous with corporation greed and income inequality. In fact, capitalism will correct most of both corporate greed and income inequality as well as many of the other negatives we see in today’s American economy.

To begin to understand these concepts, know that at its roots, capitalism is nothing more than someone going to the store and buying something with their own money at the price they find acceptable and from someone who is willing to sell that something for a price that is acceptable to them. 

Everything else the economy functions on are just offshoots of this basic premise. Some of the basic concepts of capitalism include free choice, the right to private property, the right to work and the right to negotiation. Sounds logical, and it is.

Left alone capitalism allows for and protects these basic premises. Start tweaking capitalism and distortions arise. Think of a tire that is perfectly round and each tweak of capitalism adds a lump in the tire. The tire now starts to wobble and its efficiency wanes. The more you tweak it (add more lumps) the worse it rolls.

Such is the result of the interference in capitalism, which is usually caused by a central government.

Capitalism isn’t perfect. No system is. But it is the best system. All others are worse, and some economically fatal.

But in the imperfection that mankind and our world is by nature, some think they can improve on this reality.

Of all the imperfections that is our physical world, the economic reality with the most effect is economic truth known as scarcity.

Simply put, there is not enough to go around for everyone to have everything they want. That some won’t accept this fact is delusionary. It’s a fact, and no amount of hoping, wishing or economic manipulation will change that fact.

Enter Capitalism, the most efficient method for distributing the inherent scarcity of goods. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s proven to be the best there is. A perfect system would have to eliminate the reality of scarcity, but scarcity is an economic fact and it cannot be eliminated.

To accomplish the distribution of scarcity in the fairest way possible, free will must be maintained. Only the voluntary construction of goods for an agreeable exchange allows the continuance of the economy.

Introduce mandate or remove incentive and the system eventually collapses. Incentive is simply the reason people work and hence produce. Remove the incentive and forced labor by some means is the only alternative. Either that or starvation, neither of which is an improvement over scarcity. Scarcity isn’t perfect, nor is it always comfortable, but it is a fact. There will always be scarcity. And instigating any system that removes incentive will lead to more scarcity. For without incentive, some will not work, and hence not produce.

Capitalism maintains incentive at its highest and therefore allows for the most production of goods and services, which minimizes scarcity the most over other economic systems.

It’s the best we have.

Specifically, in capitalism, excessive profits are throttled by competition (without cost to entry which is usually increased by government), and although owners will always make more than workers (there’s that incentive we talked about to start a business) income inequality is reasonable by maintaining sound money where as unsound money (inflation) which increases income inequality, is brought about by government.

Reasonable employment opportunity is maintained by the healthy economy brought about by the previous two mentions and maintained by incentive (if thou shall not work, thou shall not eat). Again we find government at contributory fault as government has a tendency to remove incentive through taxation and entitlement programs (free money). Criminality is punished in a capitalistic system unlike today where our lobby system and the big money get-out-of-jail card is fostered by and encouraged by government and their cronies.

The few holes in the capitalistic system (environmental and monopolies) can be easily monitored by a minimal (MINIMAL mind you) central government.

Capitalism is not a perfect system, but it’s the best we have.

Its premise is liberty, which is free will and the right to perform, or not perform, as the choice may be.

You have the right to do what you want, as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of another. Pretty simple stuff. All the other systems they’re proposing are merely pipedreams.

Not surprising considering what they’re allowed to smoke nowadays.

Marc Cuniberti hosts “Money Matters” on KVMR FM aired on 65 radio stations nationwide. He is a financial columnist for a variety of publications. Marc holds a BA in Economics from SDU with honors 1979. His website is moneymanagementradio.com and he can be reached at (530) 559-1214. Visit him on Facebook (FB) under Marc Cuniberti and also on the "Money Matters” and “Money Matters Investing in Community" FB pages. The views expressed are opinions only.

 

            The new location for our Farmer's Market by the amphitheater on Ponderosa Way seems to be working out well. Parking is a bit of a challenge at times, but the trees and grass around the amphitheater are great. The extra activities are a draw, too. The Kids' Spot has a variety of activities set up from 9 until 11:30 so parents can shop, visit or sit and watch. There is a food booth with several choices of dishes. Then after lunch there is a special “Happening”: 1st Saturday of the month is music, 2nd Saturday will be a kid's activity, 3rd Saturday will be sports, and 4th Saturday will center on a food. So far the vendors have been happy with the market. Both produce and crafts are available as well as spots for local non-profits, as in bake sales. So come check it out some Saturday.

            This coming weekend is Memorial Day weekend, with Memorial Day holiday falling on Monday the 27th. On Saturday, Books and More will be set up to serve hot dog lunches. Space is also available to set up for the peddler’s fair. Space is free and all you need to do is bring down your goods to sell. Spaces are available at both Books and More and also Brownsville Mercantile. All funds from the sale of hot dog lunches will go towards helping Books and More pay their rent. Books and More is a jewel in Yuba County as it is the only bookstore in the county. Come on out and help support this great community gathering spot located on Willow Glen Rd. in Brownsville.

            Wow, just when you think the summer weather has begun to settle in, blammo, we get a week of rain. Now, I’m not complaining mind you, I loved every minute of it, but it reminds us that Spring weather is volatile. It keeps the forest wet for a little longer and I’m just not ready to pull my shorts out of storage yet. How about you?

            Look Back in Time – In 1914 Leslie Gordon passed through Rackerby with a load of freight for his store in Brownsville (we will sure be glad when our local store gets re-built).

            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon. Christine and Yvonne

 

 
 

 

Honey supply looking up

California beekeepers may bring more honey to market this year, though exactly how much won't be known for a while. One keeper in Imperial County credits the winter rain with giving his bees plenty of forage and looks forward to a significant production boost. In Tulare County, beekeepers report a hit-and-miss citrus bloom, leading to uncertainties about honey supply. California is among the nation's top 10 honey-producing states.

Predicted almond acreage in California for 2019 breaks record

Almonds continue to be a popular crop in California, with acreage forecasted to reach a new record this year of 1.17 million bearing acres. Production is predicted to reach 2.5 billion pounds in 2019, a 9.6% increase over the previous year. An extended bloom period this spring helped compensate for disruptions from significant rainfall. The crop appears to be sizing well, leaving farmers optimistic.

Growers making hay of uncertain alfalfa market

With dairies still struggling financially, California alfalfa-hay growers say their biggest customers can't afford their product, leaving future prospects of the forage unclear. Harvest is ramping up, but acreage has been trending down. Farmers harvested 620,000 acres last year, the lowest on record. Growth in exports has helped, but an ongoing trade dispute with China and its retaliatory tariffs since last summer have reduced shipments to one of California's key offshore markets for alfalfa hay.  

 

Scientists aim for tastier tomato

Your supermarket tomato might soon get a flavor boost. Scientists have constructed the pan-genome for the cultivated tomato and its wild ancestors, which includes genes from 725 different varieties and nearly 5,000 previously undocumented genes. The information can help breeders quickly develop new varieties for commercial production that retain both richer flavor profiles and traits important to growers such as yield, shelf life, disease resistance and stress tolerance.

 
 
   
 

 

 
 

 

Rice planting accelerates after late start

It'll be a short and intense planting season for California rice farmers. Late spring rains kept farmers out of their fields, and they say some rice ground will be left unplanted because of lingering floodwaters. But farmers say planting weather has improved, water availability will be good, and they expect decent markets for their rice. The California Rice Commission predicts about 500,000 acres of the crop will be planted.

Water supplies remain constrained in some areas

In the western San Joaquin Valley, farmers who buy water from the federal Central Valley Project hope to see supplies improve, and water districts seek to supplement supplies. CVP farm customers in the region stand to receive only 65 percent allocations, despite the above-average snowpack. At least one water district says it plans to buy water from a neighboring district with full supplies. The CVP may revise allocations later this month.

 

Carrot supplies maintain momentum

Shipments of fresh carrots set their fastest pace in 20 years during the first quarter of 2019. The U.S. Agriculture Department says carrot shipments also rose in 2018, during which production surged 18 percent compared to the previous year. In terms of per-person availability, carrots saw the largest increase last year among all fresh vegetables. California accounts for almost 80 percent of the nation's fresh-carrot production.

 

Grant aims to head off an invasive pest

Hoping to reduce the impact of an invasive pest before it arrives in California, the state Department of Food and Agriculture has awarded a grant to researchers to study biological controls for the insect. The spotted lantern fly arrived in North America five years ago and has spread in the eastern U.S. University of California scientists will test whether a tiny wasp can be used to combat the lantern fly, should it reach the state.

 

 

The Federal Reserve balance sheet is not a commonly discussed topic at your local dinner party but in the world of economics it’s definitely a subject that gets a lot of attention.

When one hears the word balance sheet, it tends to conjure up a vision of long rows of numbers on a paper that, when added up, leans the mind’s eye to picture mountains of green cash sitting in a vault somewhere, or something like that.

Although it’s likely most if not all of us would probably prefer to imagine a hefty balance sheet to reflect our own financial condition, in the case of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet, the opposite tends to be true.

Although many would think a balance sheet details how much money one has, the legal term is it’s actually as a statement of the assets, liabilities, and capital of a business or other organization at a particular point in time. In simplistic terms, it’s what you own, owe and it correlates the two.

In the case of the Federal Reserve, a hefty balance sheet might sound like a good thing, but some might argue it is anything but. The Feds balance sheet is actually a list of what it owns and it’s not just piles of green cash. Again some might argue it’s another type of pile the Feds balance sheet reflects. One might get a better picture of whether that statement is true or not by knowing the pile was commonly about a trillion dollars prior to 2008 and now it sits at over four trillion. There is a reason for the massive increase.

Four trillion sounds like a pile of cash but actually there is little cash there. What is there is about one trillion in what it had historically held prior to 08, which is mostly U.S. government debt and now there is about three trillion of what it bought to pull us out of the global monetary implosion that was the crisis.

So what did the Feds buy and from whom did they buy it?

The balance sheet contains what is called U.S. debt (treasuries which our IOU’s from the Uncle Sam), agency debt (U.S. debt that might be from other government institutions or offshoots) and mortgage backed securities (MBS) to name a few.

It buys the U.S. debt instruments from the government (no the Federal Reserve is technically not a government entity) and buys the MBS from, among other places, the banking system.

These purchases are known as “asset purchases’ and are a part of their “open market operations (OMO).

OMO can be thought of as a gas pedal to throttle the economy. The Feds can buy stuff from the banks, which puts more money into the system, pushing down on the economic pedal to stimulate, or sells back this stuff to the banks, easing up on the pedal to cool an economy off. These buys and sells either put money into the economic system (when it buys) or takes money out of the system (when it sells).

During 2008/9 the banks were saturated in mortgages that were going bad. The Federal Reserve, whose balance sheet up until that time held mostly U.S. debt to the tune of one trillion, printed up another 3.5 trillion and bought mortgages and “other assets” from the banking system as well as from other public and private enterprises.

This mechanism is thought to have stabilized the banking system which was under severe strain at the time due to trillions in mortgages that were defaulting due to the housing blow up. There are opponents of this mechanism and its use but that’s a story for another day.

The Feds, having increased their balance sheet (holdings) from one trillion to 4.5 trillion during crisis, is now attempting to decrease (sell off) some of its holdings.

You won’t hear much about this on the evening news as it’s not something they want to advertise. The reason being anytime large amounts of money are withdrawn from an economy, the economy tends to want to stall out or slow.

As the Fed attempts to unwind (reduce by selling assets it previously bought) money is taken out of the system as the buyers (banking system among others) give their money back to the Fed for these assets.

If you recall, when the Feds sell, like they are doing now, the “pedal’ is lifted and the economy slows. Since the crisis, the Feds have tried to unwind before, only to back off when economic conditions slowed.

Only time will tell if they will be more successful this time around.

This article expresses the opinions of Marc Cuniberti and are opinions only and should not be construed or acted upon as individual investment advice. Mr. Cuniberti is an Investment Advisor Representative through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Marc can be contacted at SMC Wealth Management, 164 Maple St #1, Auburn, CA 95603 (530) 559-1214. SMC and Cambridge are not affiliated. His website is www.moneymanagementradio.com. California Insurance License # OL34249

 

        The Bookstore Booster Group will hold its second Show and Tell on May 18 at 10 am. This is the second season of the craft workshops held at the store each Saturday from 10 to noon. Some of the works will be on display and we will draw the winning raffle tickets. The new newsletter will be out on that day and will have a listing of the next set of workshops. There is a wide variety of activities from which to choose, from knitting to watercolor. Come check it out. This group helps raise money to support the bookstore. Members of the group just held a bake sale and a pulled pork sandwich lunch, thanks to Cindy and Mike. We brought in a week of rent money.

            There will be a peddlers fair and hot dog lunch held on Saturday, May 25, at Books and More. Peddler booth spaces are free so bring your treasures down to sell. This is Memorial Day Weekend and there should be plenty of treasure hunters out and about. The funds from the sale of the hot dog lunches go to help pay the bookstore rent. Come on out and join us, please.

            If you didn’t already know, Tony’s Smoke Shop & “Mini Mart”, on Willow Glen Rd. in Brownsville, has just about anything you would need in groceries. He has canned and boxed goods, milk, bread, bacon, eggs, cookies and goodies, ice cream, ice, some frozen meats, a few produce items and more. Thank you Tony!!!!

            Look Back in Time – In 1886 there was a parade in Brownsville and a Grand Ball in the Knox Hotel. The music was by Brownsville Brass Band and a midnight supper was served at the hotel (we will certainly miss the parade at Forbestown Daze, but times change).

            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon. Christine and Yvonne

May132019

 

Starring: Nicholas Hoult,

 Lily Collins, and Colm Meaney

Rated: PG-13 Runtime: 1 hour 52 minutes

5/5

            This is a telling of the early life of, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, and the influences that set him on the path to write one of the greatest and most revolutionary works of fiction. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. These stories opened the imagination of the world and constructed the gates for other authors to go through in order to create their own worlds full of magic and heroes that inspire readers to see the world in the light of the possible and to strip away the fear of the different and unfamiliar.

            Tolkien, earns five out of five, Toll Keen Monkeys. This is a well crafted film that will not appeal to everyone. It is more of a biography and an intimate telling of the author rather than the work. The story jumps through time and references people that are not widely known and who lived before World War One. The acting is superb and the cinematography is very well done. Showing the vibrancy of rural England and the stark desolation and horror of trench warfare. This is simply a wonderfully told story.