It is said there are no free rides. And unfortunately when it comes to social programs, the same can be true. I believe the vast majority of folks are compassionate and reasonable. Sure there are some that just want to watch the world burn, but for the most part America is filled with compassionate people. So let’s continue with todays rant.

 

What bugs me is when people use the term “free _(fill in) ___________”.

 

The most common thing that comes to my mind is free healthcare for all. “Single payer” is a better description in today’s political environment but even that name is an incorrect moniker. Single payer may mean the government but the government gets its money from all of us. A better name for it should be something like “Taxpayer funded”.

 

Flashback a decade and half ago and we were told the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) would solve many of the problems in the U.S. healthcare system. Now fast forward and as the ACA ramped up, it didn’t work so well. Prognostications from those originally opposed to it began to ring true. Two things happened. 1- It was a mess and among many snafus was its website (Remember that?)  2-Where government money goes, so follows rising prices and bingo, true to form health costs soon skyrocketed.

A mandatory program by law, fines for not participating raised the ire of many. As the years ticked by, the fines rose by design. As predicted, some businesses scaled down the number of employees to get under the mandated number of employees. Some businesses just closed down. Some individuals sucked it up and paid the fines and still went without. Insurance company’s rates climbed as mandated coverage hurt balance sheets. With many more sick people coming into the program then forecasted, insurance companies raised rates. There are those increased costs I mentioned. Not wanting to anger voters with egregious rate increases the Obama administration added insurance companies to their listed of subsidized corporate conglomerates. Now the government subsidized the patients AND the insurance companies. Adding insult to injury, many doctors wouldn’t accept the program and refused to take on ACA patients. The lack of available doctors forced many into hospital emergency rooms to get basic medical care causing further price increases.

 

Basically a mess, the ACA morphed into the train wreck it was forecasted to become. Undaunted, supporters blamed the GOP for altering its form and gutting some of its basics. Truth be told if the GOP had their way, the ACA would have been killed entirely.

 

As the ACA debacle unfolded, undaunted, supporters changed their tune to advocate single payer healthcare. Afraid to admit that the ACA may have failed because the mechanism itself is unworkable, single payer or the recently touted “Medicare for all” became the newest fix-all be-all. When that implodes (not if but when) a new cat call will be heard and a whole bunch of fingers will be pointed.

What people don’t understand is that “wants” are just that, wants. That in no way means that want is attainable. I might want to visit the moon, but that doesn’t mean it’s possible or even feasible. Like free housing for all, health care for all is an admiral dream, but it’s not possible. It’s just that, a dream.  Sounds like I am without compassion but that is not where the statement “it’s not possible” comes from. The estimated cost for healthcare for all tops 36 trillion dollars over ten years. That from the Center for Health and Economy. That’s trillion with a “T”.  Frankly folks, 36 trillion is an impossible amount. That’s not figuring in the rising costs from the influx of that eye-popping amount into the healthcare sector.

 

Remember “where government money goes, so goes inflation”. In other words, plow 36 trillion into the healthcare system and prices would launch upward like a nuclear missile.

 

There are some of you out there that think we would save trillions for a healthier population, or health care costs would actually drop, or the government could just print up the money to pay for it, and yada yada yada and so on.

 

None of these things would happen except the money printing part. How else would we pay such a tremendous sum?

 

What would certainly happen is 36 trillion would turn into 50 trillion and 50 would turn into 100 in due time. The bottom line is supporters would get their free healthcare but it would be anything but free despite its name.

 

Instead inflation would skyrocket, the healthcare system would experience skyrocketing prices and likely near implosion, and the U.S. would likely near total bankruptcy. The amount is that huge. Yea, free healthcare or Medicare for all is easy to say, and a wonderful dream, but the ramifications would be so dire for the economy the dream would be more like a nightmare if it ever came to pass.

 

My prediction is that if this nation approaches anything even close to free healthcare for all, the finances of the U.S. government would require major currency and monetary manipulation to pay for it, and that kind of manipulation would eventually spell the end of U.S. dollar and subsequently our economy as we know it.

 

Like I said, the amount is that huge. 

 

Would I like free healthcare for all? You bet I would. But I also would like  to go to the moon. I just have the good sense to know neither is feasible and most likely not even possible.

 

Marc Cuniberti hosts “Money Matters” on KVMR FM aired on 66 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 and You Tube. The views expressed are opinions only.

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Antonio Banderas, and Michael Sheen

Rated: PG  

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

          A doctor finds that he can communicate with animals and starts a practice helping them overcome their challenges. After tragedy strikes he withdraws from the world and only a dire royal decree can bring him forth from the darkness of despair  and back into the world.

 

         Dolittle, earns a solid four out of five, Whale Wrangling Monkeys. The story moves at a steady pace and is delightful to experience. The acting is very well performed, Robert Downey Jr. shows great range in this film with little of the idiosyncrasies we see in his, Iron Man, and, Sherlock, roles. The special effects and cinematography are excellently done. This is a fun movie to watch. Not amazing but well worth the price of admission.

USMCA to be signed soon

 

President Trump says he plans to sign the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement soon. Speaking to farmers and ranchers at the American Farm Bureau Federation convention in Austin, Texas, Trump said he would sign the agreement when he returns from a trip to Europe. The Senate gave final congressional approval to the deal last week. California farmers say it will solidify two of the top foreign markets for the state's farm products.

 

Celery prices settle after 2019 surge

 

Celery prices have largely returned to Earth after skyrocketing last year in the wake of an Internet-fueled celery-juice craze, with Ventura County growers reporting normal supplies and pricing. Organic celery, once going for upward of $70 per carton in the spring, is back to about $18. Ventura growers report no weather-related challenges this season, other than late-fall rain that interrupted planting.

 

Almond orchards buzzing as bloom time nears

 

As more almond orchards come into production, beekeepers are racing to keep pace. More than 2.5 million beehives will be moved into California orchards over the next few weeks in preparation for bloom season. With 300,000-plus acres of almonds expected to begin producing nuts over the next few years, beekeepers say an additional 600,000 new hives will be needed to ensure the young trees are pollinated.

 

New strawberry variety lasts longer

 

A new strawberry variety released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been shown to have a significantly longer shelf life than several other popular varieties. The spring-bearing 'Keepsake' strawberry is also reported to have excellent flavor and sweetness, a juicy texture and reliable yields. The variety was increased for distribution at a Northern California nursery.

The U.S took out a bad guy by the name of Soleimani last week. Ramifications to the markets are yet to seen but it’s beginning to look like a non-event. Defense stocks popped on the news along with gold and oil. Since the bad guy is in (or was) the Middle East, the rise in these stock sectors is not surprising.

 

Interest rates are falling once again after a few increases from the FED. First they lower them, then they raise them, now they lower them again. All in the span of a few years. Can’t say if the FEDS are playing it by ear but you have to wonder if so, what tune are they listening to. The general consensus now is rates will likely stay where they are at least for the time being. One has to wonder why the up and down movement in rates. Interest rates have a monumental effect on markets, and to be jerking them around like this doesn’t make for the most stable environment for investing in my opinion. Ten year notes pay about 2% right now. Ditto with the rate of inflation so says the Bureau of Labors Statistics. (BLS).

 

Boeing fired its CEO in response to the ongoing problems with its Max jet liner diving twice into the earth seemingly with a mind of its own, killing all aboard in the two well published crashes. A software issue with what is called its MCAS system is to blame. No doubt Boeing will fix the problem eventually. Either that or scrap the plane all together, although with the billions and billions already invested this analyst doubts the Max will go the way of junk heap.

 

Unemployment sits a historic lows and the stock markets continue to hit new highs. Housing vacancy is at a 35 year low, meaning the demand for housing remains robust. Savings accounts of the consumer is running around 8%, a high figure to be sure, and household debt is the lowest in 2 generations. Those statistics from “The Rant” by analyst Dave Ogilvy.

 

Federal debt sits at 80% of GDP. GDP is all the money taken in from sales and service in the U.S. That figure is relatively high according to common belief and government debt, no matter what government one references, cannot climb forever without something eventually breaking somewhere.

 

With 2020 being an election year, The Presidential Cycle stock theory says 2020 should be a good year for the market. The cycle looks back on how markets have reacted in the past during the four years of a president’s term. 2020 is the fourth year in the cycle. 2021 would be year one. Since no one or no theory can predict future market movements however, investing money based on a theory is never a good idea. There are just too many variables in stock markets, which are complex systems with millions of players casting trillions of dollars to and fro. If any one theory or otherwise was foolproof, the system would break. Imagine everybody piling in on one market direction only. I can’t even pencil out what that would look like where 100% of participants all buy or all sell at the same time based on a foolproof prognostication.

 

That does it for this week’s Money Matters.

 

This article should not be construed as specific recommendations or investment advice. Always consult with your investment professional before making important investment decisions. Mr. Cuniberti is an Investment Advisor Representative through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a registered investment advisor.

 

The views expressed are opinions only. They do not necessarily reflect those of Cambridge, this news media, its staff, members or underwriters. Marc’s website is moneymanagementradio.com. Mr. Cuniberti holds California insurance license #0L3424. Marc can be contacted at SMC Wealth Management. 164 Maple St. #1  Auburn, Ca 95603  (530) 559-1214. SMC Wealth Management and Cambridge are not affiliated.

By Boots Johnson

 

Congratulations go out to Live Oak angler Hayden Samply on his catching a 9.75 pound rainbow trout while fishing at Collins Lake. The fish was caught on dough bait at the marina.

 

Things have changed a bit on the Sacramento River in regard to sturgeon. We will need more rain to increase the sturgeon bite. Things have slowed down at this time. Our weather source tells to expect rain mid-week. If he is right this will certainly help out moving the monsters around.

 

Catchable trout are still being planted in Folsom Lake. Reports tell us the Department of
Fish and Wildlife have also planted Englebright Reservoir.

 

Kokanee Salmon are still being taken by trolling near the dam and around the house boats at Bullard’s Bar Reservoir.

 

Recent storms in the high country have closed many roads to reservoirs in the high country. At this time we advise to check on your favorite water before heading up into the sierras.

 

We remind anglers who purchased sturgeon cards to make sure they are returned by January 31, 2019.

 

Closing thought: “The best route is straight and narrow.”

Almond farmers expand bee health actions

In advance of the annual pollination season, almond farmers and processors have announced a Pollinator Protection Plan to protect honeybees. The Almond Board of California said Tuesday it will enhance its ongoing work to benefit bees. Plans include expanding the number of farmers who provide pollinator habitat, funding five new studies by bee experts, and holding on-farm workshops on best management practices for bee health.

 

Field-crop production decreases

Production of most California-grown field and grain crops declined during 2019, according to an annual report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Farmers sold less rice, cotton, wheat, corn and most other field crops last year. Production of hay rose slightly, and marketing of California potatoes and barley also bucked the general trend by increasing.

 

Protein appears to control plant growth

Discovery of a protein that controls plant growth could ultimately help crops withstand challenging conditions. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, found the protein while studying plant cells. They say the protein, called IRK, sends a signal to root cells on when not to divide. Knowing how to control the protein might allow plants to grow under conditions they might not otherwise.  

 

County Farm Bureaus earn national recognition

Three county Farm Bureaus from California have been chosen to highlight outstanding activities during the American Farm Bureau Federation convention next week in Austin, Texas. The Humboldt County Farm Bureau created a program to encourage high school students to pursue agricultural careers. The Sacramento County Farm Bureau created its own mobile app. The San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation showed adults how to prepare healthy meals with local products.

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Jessica Henwick, and T.J. Miller

Rated: PG-13 

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

          A drilling company has set up operations seven miles under the oceans surface. What exactly they are drilling for isn’t clear, however they do not find what they expect to find. The crew must find a way to safety as the structural integrity of the complex is compromised unexpectedly.

 

         Underwater, earns one out of five, Cool Diving Suit Monkeys. The story has a cold start as the characters are immediately thrown into urgent survival mode. Oddly the crew seems to lose their sense of urgency at random times throughout the story, while the danger of eminent demise remains ever present. The acting is just as good as the director allows. The characters don’t have much time to develop a solid foundation that the viewers can care about. The editing of the film is odd and choppy.

 

        Quite possibly the worst movie I’ve seen since, Prometheus. The effects and the acting are pretty good. The failure of this film is entirely on the director and editor. It doesn’t seem as if they were overly Interest in telling a story. They were just in it for some really cool action scenes and getting Kristen Stewart into her underwear. Best to wait for this film to be released and watch it before your next scuba dive.

On Saturday, January 25, there will be a Yuba Feather Community Services membership dinner at the community center in Brownsville. Spaghetti dinner will be served free to YFCS members. You can obtain a membership at the door or pay for your dinner. Desserts are requested for a dessert auction and there will be a raffle. Come join your friends and neighbors for dinner.

 

            It looks like we will be shopping at Brownsville Gold Eagle before too long. The siding is going up and who knows how far the inside has come. It’s been kind of fun watching the progress. Can’t wait to see the finished product, wander through the aisles and gas up my truck!

 

            Haven’t see much going on for the Dollar General to be built on the old Cathy’s Corner in Brownsville. Should be some activity over there soon. Keep watching!

 

            Look Back in Time – In 1913 The first mail in LaPorte in 10 days was delivered when Eveline Bustillos, age 16, carried it 25 miles through on snowshoes (one tough gal).

 

            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.    Christine and Yvonne

By Don Rae

 

  • *The Iranian general killed in Iraq had his casket pulled to the burial grounds by an American Chevrolet. And in the midst of the procession a stampede broke out and some 56 mourners were killed and hundreds hurt. Then the Iranians accidentally shot down a civilian airliner killing 176 innocents. This is an example of why they should not be allowed to have nuclear weapons.
  • *The mainstream media used “nuclear war headlines” and 6 columns to tell the story of a recovering addict who says he was molested as a cub scout some 40 years ago. The story goes on for 14 paragraphs before the writers reveal that the man also told of being molested by a relative. The scouts get the blame, which fits the leftist agenda against boys and the boy scouting movement. Vile reporting.
  • *Did you see any reporting by the mainstream media on the arrest of more than 180 arson suspects in Australia? Probably not. But you heard plenty of cries about climate change. The extent of the arson is vast, as police have arrested people for lighting bushfires across Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania in the past few months, police data reveals. Why? Who knows? The media won’t report it.
  • *Remember Y2K? Computers would fail and the world would come to an end. So said the experts. Well? Did their prognostication come true?
  • *Joe Biden told a crowd of his crazy supporters that if fossil fuel executives don’t take accountability for helping to doom the environment, we should throw them in jail. If we don’t stop using fossil fuels “we’re all dead.”
  • *Man made climate change, Y2K, -----all part of “chicken little” syndrome.
  • *One Hollywood leftie after another threatens Trump and his family. Why hasn’t the secret service taken appropriate steps against these dolts? Simple. None of those dolts have the intestinal fortitude to act. And everyone knows it. Why do you pay good money to see their work product?
  • *In 2018 a bill was passed by the nutty legislature that was just implemented on January 1. It will be tougher to shower and do laundry on the same day due to restrictions that limit water use. You will have a choice to either wash dishes or take a shower. If family or friends stay with you they must agree not to take a shower.  Once the bureaucrats come to enforce this law, use too much water and they will shut it off till midnight.  This will force more folks to leave the State. California! The Golden State.
  • A UCLA professor has written that single family homes are the cause of climate change. According to the snowflakes everything they don’t like is caused by man-made climate change. We need a cadre of new professors.
  • *Stranger than fiction. We can’t make this stuff up. The Dems claim they are “for the little people”. Yet their top presidential hopefuls are billionaires. Another example of the Dems lying through their eye teeth.
  • *Changing existing street names creates serious problems for historians and other researchers. The cost to local businesses is astronomical. Honor people by naming a new street after them. Do not change the name of existing ones.
  • *Sacramento has a Diversity Expo. The snowflakes are still exclaiming about our differences rather than our commonality. Pitting one group against another is counter-productive to a united nation.
  • Dems want to know what intelligence Trump had to target the Iranian general who was in Iraq planning additional attacks on our embassies. Would you give any sensitive information to Schiff and friends? Within a millisecond, the leaks would go out to the mainstream media and the target would be warned we were coming.
  • *In one week the Dems have attacked a man who stopped a church shooting but have defended an Iranian General. Get the point? Is this your position, Garamendi?
  • *Hillary has been named Chancellor of Queens University across the pond. Hopefully she will go soon and take Bill with her.
  • *Have you noticed that nearly every television advertiser wants $19 a month from you? If you respond, by the time you realize it, your entire income will be tapped and your mail box stuffed to overflowing by more demands. And your phone will not stop ringing with more solicitations.
  • Newsom’s budget provides billions more for additional firefighters to protect low-income residents. We were not aware that these fire-responders checked your tax returns before deciding to save your house.

Welcome to the new decade – 2020. What changes will affect us? Let's meet the new year with confidence, we can handle the challenges. Hang in there.

 

            The Yuba Feather Community Services is up and running, trying to keep heads above water, financially. There is a membership meeting at the end of January (not sure of the date), so consider joining or keeping your membership up as part of your community commitment. This group manages the community center, amphitheater, park and ball fields for the benefit of our communities, so getting involved is important. Several groups use the facilities regularly: Stone Soup on Thursday at noon, Hill Top Gang for monthly breakfast, Historical Association for quarterly meetings, the Quilt Guild every Wednesday and probably others. At other times the facilities are rented for special occasions. All of this gives us a great place to come together, so let's work to keep it running.

 

            Look Back in time - In 1898 Julie Kumic sold one-tenth interest in the Red Ravine Mine at Indiana Ranch to L. T. William Crane of Sharen Valley (wonder where Red Ravine is).

 

            See you in Brownsville soon.             

                Christine and Yvonne

By Boots Johnson

Foul Weather off and on so far this winter has increased the migration up rivers for sturgeon. These fish are now very active in the bay area and are being caught consistently in rivers throughout the North State.

 

This time of year also brings anticipation for the fishing season lying ahead of us along with many memories of last year and years ago. The other day we pulled out a package of frozen Lake Tahoe Mackinaw trout for dinner. The table fare was excellent and just preparing and eating that meal brought back the memories. I find it amazing what the human mind can remember when this happens. It was a beautiful day at Tahoe. The wind was calm and the waves small. As we pulled out from the marina the sun was peeking over the sierras and there was a chill in the air. It was a wonderful experience in the middle of June and the fishing was outstanding all though the fish were running small that day. The biggest fish caught on our boar was a four pounder. All of us limited out and we returned to the marina shortly after noon.

 

Yes, the memories always come floating back into our brains, like when my family lived in the Yuba County foothills on a combination ranch farm. We raised cattle for the war effort and grew and raised our own food. The nearest neighbor was two miles away and in the winter time during severe storms we had to park the old car and walk the road to the house due to thick mud making it impossible to drive on.

 

We lived by the Yuba River and the Dredger Ponds and it was always a special day when Dad and I walked over to our favorite pond to fish for black bass, catfish and sun perch. The “fish fry” that evening was always delicious with homemade biscuits, hand churned butter and fresh vegetables from the garden.

 

I wish my kids and my grandchildren could have seen and lived that time. It certainly was the way to learn about the outdoors and the food you could grow and the fish you could catch instead of a weekly trip to the local supermarket.

 

Closing thought: “No matter how cool, rich or educated you are how you treat people tells it all.”

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, and Florence Pugh

Rated: PG  

Runtime: 2 Hours 15 Minutes

 

A mother and her four daughters plod bravely through the hardships of societal expectations while their father is fighting for the Union Army. Triumph and tragedy ebb and flow throughout.

Little Women, earns four out of five, Ice Skating Monkeys. The story skips back and forth through time and relies a bit on the viewer to have read the book or watched earlier movie adaptations. Fortunately this film is much closer to the book than earlier versions. The acting is performed with dedication and in full earnest. The  cinematography is very well done.

Upstart Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren have sent a letter to Sears’ former CEO Eddie Lampert, criticizing him for his efforts to avoid repaying Sears for $43 million in severance to the retailer’s workers. A war of words and accusations between Lampert and the now defunct Sears Holdings has Lampert claiming the pay back to employees is no longer valid. The argument stems from Lampert’s acquisition of the beleaguered retailers assets.

 

Lampert bought Sears assets through an affiliate of his hedge fund ESL. Lampert as its CEO headed up Sears as it spiraled into chapter 11. The original deal, which saved the company from total liquidation, also stated that Lampert would reimburse Sears severance costs for workers who lost their employment in the bankruptcy. Further muddying the waters is the fact Steven Mnuchin, Trumps secretary treasury, was on the board of directors at Sears and now both him and Lampert are being sued by Sears. Adding more conspiracy to the story is the additional fact that Sears bankrupt pension were taken over by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), an organization that helps administer and settle pension’s claims from involvement members. It just also happens to be overseen by Mnuchin, as well as the secretaries of commerce and labor.  You can’t make this stuff up.

 

Now that the smoke is clearing, or just starting to clear as the case may be, Lampert and his firm are claiming Sear’s part of the deal is suspect and he may not pay the severance pay.

Yes it sounds complicated and it likely is, but my point is not the bankruptcy itself but the camel nose insertions by Warren and AOC, who for all intents and purposes, probably know less about Sears and its acquisition then the lowliest assistant accountant in any one of the number of firms that are handling the Sears mess.

 

Likely based on more of a political pulpit than an employee related one, although Warren has bankruptcy knowledge by study, AOC probably leans more into the personal experience aspect of the mechanism. Not to say she’s filed bankruptcy, she hasn’t, but her net worth of only a few thousand (Weeklystandard.com) mostly stemming from a bartending job gives little reason to think she knows much about a corporate bankruptcy such as a size that is the Sears liquidation. More likely she is exercising her well known talent of riding the political bandwagon and shooting off her now infamous mouth.

 

The point here being is that both the army of Sears lawyers and accountants along with the Lampert’s many CPA’s together with the bankruptcy courts will get to the bottom of this and probably get pretty close to if not spot on to the truth and who is possibly screwing who.

That Warren and AOC are joining forces, both of whom recently appeared together in their own version of a propaganda video on the Sears issue, the question should be asked is exactly what, besides more dissent, is their goal here?

 

Like I said, the armies of lawyers and accountants that are likely to see all the financials will bring their findings to the courts and then the courts will decide. That Warren and AOC are attempting to stir up controversy because one of the people involved is a cabinet member of the current administration is typical of the political maneuvering that is common among those that practice such things.

 

Warren and AOC can’t possibly help the financial forensics. The accountants and lawyers involved would never permit it. What Warren and AOC can do is cause more hate and polarization that many claim has become the cornerstone of their party’s strategy. In more common language, they love to stir the brown stuff.

 

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.

Farm groups analyze state water portfolio

 

The new year began with the Sierra snowpack and California reservoirs at near-average levels, and with release of a California Water Resilience Portfolio by state agencies. The agencies outlined a number of actions intended to improve California water quantity and quality. A California Farm Bureau analyst said the organization appreciated the document's substance and its urgency. Comments on the draft plan will be accepted through early February.  

 

Senate committee approves trade agreement

 

A new agreement smoothing trade among the United States, Mexico and Canada moved a step closer to ratification Tuesday, with approval by the Senate Finance Committee. Farm groups welcomed the action, which sends the agreement to the full Senate. The House approved the deal last month. It must also be approved by legislatures in Canada and Mexico. Canada ranks No. 2 in foreign purchases of California farm exports; Mexico ranks fifth.  

 

Strawberry supplies could set record

 

Record supplies of California-grown strawberries could reach market between Easter and Independence Day, according to a survey from the California Strawberry Commission. The survey indicates strawberry farmers will plant nearly 4% more acreage this year. That, combined with planting of higher-yielding varieties, should increase strawberry supplies compared to last year, if typical weather patterns hold.

 

Avocado crop should be much larger

 

Expect to see more California-grown avocados on the market. The California Avocado Commission projects a crop of 369 million pounds, up from about 215 million in 2019. Hot temperatures during crop development reduced California avocado supplies last year, but the commission says it expects a "great" 2020 crop. California farmers harvest avocados all year, with peak volumes anticipated in May, June and July.

Starring: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, and John Boyega

Rated: PG-13   

Runtime: 2 hours 22 minutes

 

          The last third of the third, Star Wars, trilogy has finally hit theaters. A young Jedi Apprentice stitches across the galaxy to fully realize her abilities and prevent an old and extremely unlikely evil from stepping from the shadows to rule the galaxy.

 

          Star Wars: Episode IX- The Rise of Skywalker, earns three out of five, Mask Welding Monkeys. The story is crammed full of information that has a hard time reaching viewers in thirty second scene bites. The flow of the film rolls along at a manic pace from the first scene to the beginning of the last act. Then it settles a bit and roiles around in a dark pit of despair with shafts of hope breaking through to be crushed and reformed. The acting is a little rushed, but not too distracting. The cinematography is good and the effects regardless of how outlandish they are, are very well done and amazing feats of visual effects. Anyone should enjoy this film, even if you take three dogs in a baby stroller to see it.

New Year's Resolution

 

As we embark on a new year, many will make promises and resolutions full of hope of new beginnings. A worthwhile endeavor for sure. All of us have things we would like to change, some easy to change and some we may have been trying to change for years.


Financial resolutions are a popular resolution as are health changes, weight loss, relationship and job changes, life goals and many others.


Change in the positive is just that, positive. The resolution we hope will improve our lives and maybe even lives of others, and herein lies my message for you today.


Let’s see if we can make up and make a resolution, a specific resolution to help someone else. Whether it be care for an elderly, volunteer at a shelter or food bank, clean up a park or just reach out to someone. It might include a monetary donation or just giving part of your time. Whatever is it, it is said one of the most selfish things one can do is help someone else. A strange take on the charitable action for sure. But in it lies the truth of it. Helping someone else makes one feel great. It’s uplifting and one of the best anti-depressants one can take, and all without drugs with the added benefit of someone else benefits too.


Simply put, let’s all make a resolution to help someone else. Each one Teach one. And you might find this resolution the most uplifting and rewarding of resolutions. And while we’re at it, let’s take a moment and look not forward on the year, but backwards. And no in retrospect but in gratitude. Gratitude for what we have. The most obvious one is just being here for another year. Some of our loved ones or friends may not have lived to today, 2019 being their last year on earth. But we can be glad we knew them at all. And that they knew us. For to love is to eventually know love lost. But it is the way of things, as it should be and is.


In this New Year, we look back with gratitude, gratitude for all we have and all we have known. And with our resolution to also help others, I for one cannot think of anything I would hope for more as this New Year brings its dawn upon us.


Wishing you the best of New Years and the best of past years.

 

Marc Cuniberti hosts “Money Matters” on KVMR FM aired on 66 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 and You Tube. The views expressed are opinions only.

By Boots Johnson


We have been told by some old timers who still fish the rivers that the striped bass run this year will be early. In addition, our weather source advises of more rain and snow in the coming months.

 

Folsom Lake has some nice trout waiting for the right offering if a person can spend some time on this reservoir. One way to be successful is to troll lures on or near the surface of the water or down no deeper than 10 to 12 feet.

 

A few trout are being taken at Englebright Reservoir using power bait or worms. Same goes at Collins Lake with fish available but nothing great.

 

Many lakes and reservoirs I the high country are snowed in or blown out with weather conditions.

The kokanee action is back at Bullard’s Bar Reservoir with fish being caught here and there.

 

A report tells us the catfish are still available in the Sutter Bypass areas as well as in local creeks, ditches and rivers. Bigger fish are possible in the Clear Lake area and at Collins Lake above Marysville.

 

We are already into the first part of January and it is time to think about the upcoming spring fishing opportunities available in our area. Might be a good idea to check out the fishing gear, install new line on the reels and make sure the boat is ready.

 

Closing thought; “Don’t compare yourself to others…………….but be content within yourself.”

By Don Rae

 

  • *What is really going to be the lineup for the Democrats in 2020? Keep your eye on Hillary. The present crop of 2nd and 3rd tier offerings leave plenty of room for a 4th rate interloper.
  • *Are you one of the lucky ones who got their social security cut for 2020? Oh, how clever the deep state operates. The law provides for a1.6% increase in benefits. So the deep state charges more for Medicare so you end up with less on your check than 2019. What a blessing.
  • *Answer me this. Burning the American flag is free speech. But it is a hate crime to burn a gay pride flag. And it is racist to burn a Mexican flag. Somehow the logic escapes us.
  • *Think about this one. Pelosi demands a “fair trial” before she sends the impeachment mess to the Senate. Oh, and by the way, until she does, there is no impeachment under law. She needs a little more education, however. A fair trial is guaranteed to the accused, not the accuser. What is this woman up to?
  • *It is now clear that Obama knew about the phony dossier and the shenanigans in the FISA court. Obama needs to be called to testify under oath and asked why he allowed this to happen—or did he order it to happen?
  • Sacramento politicians have decided that hair is the cause of discrimination. Starting in January, schools will be forbidden from punishing students for wearing certain hairstyles historically associated with race, such as afros, braids, twists and locks. Under the new Democrat-sponsored law, workplace dress codes and policies cannot call out these hairstyles, and employers cannot hire, promote or terminate workers based on hairstyles associated with race. Wonderful. Schools that can’t teach and give out worthless diplomas make hair an issue.  Educators need to concentrate on education instead of worrying about the hair of students. There is a need for real educators, not hairdressers. 
  • *In June 2014, we wrote that the French Foreign Minister told us that we have “somewhat less than 485 days left on this planet” because of global warming. Just another “expert” blatting off about things they know nothing about - like AOC. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re still here. There’s no warming. The sea hasn’t risen. Yet the “experts” still tell us lies.
  • *To put a finer point on it, climate change advocates missed again. For example: In 1989 the snowflakes at the United Nations predicted that entire nations could disappear under the sea by 2000. Did the expert prognostication come true? Don’t believe in human-caused climate change. It is a hoax designed to separate you from your money.
  • *If you raise kids by telling them there are to be “no judgments” and other coddling – what can you expect when they become adults? No consequences for petty theft or home invasion or carjacking or assault? What is the result? Anarchy? A breakdown in civility? Congratulations, Democrats. Your plans and policies are working to Destroy America.
  • *What are your federal taxes being spent on? Try a few examples: building up Tunisia’s political system and the Pakistani film industry; funding research that involves hooking Zebrafish on nicotine; sending low-quality textbooks to Afghan students; supporting “green growth” in Peru; studying frog mating calls; $1,200,000 was spent on studying habits of online dating app users; $22 million spent on bringing Serbian cheese up to international standards; millions more were spent to improve the quality of TV in Moldova; $4.5 million for studying a connection between drinking alcohol and winding up in the emergency room; $10 million was spent for “green growth in Peru.”  Again, why are American taxpayers paying for junk such as the above?
  • *It took an Internet newspaper to expose the corruption of those in the Climate Change Industry.  According to mainstream media. over 11,000 Climate Change Scientists said climate change is the major problem of our lifetime—and we have to go back to the days of the Neanderthal if we want to survive.  In fact, this statement was a total fraud and scam—brought by the Fake News folks. The internet editor revealed only 5 of the 11,258 were actually accredited climate scientists with degrees. Who were the 11,000?  “The remaining 11,253 names were either random members of the public, people in scientific fields other than climate, or joke names added by pranksters.
  • Have you noticed that most of the attacks on the Jewish community come from people from the Left?  One reason is that for eight years Obama exhibited a hate for Israel and the Jews. Obama’s 2008 campaign’s co-chair and military adviser General Merrill McPeak had a history of blaming American foreign policy on the “Jewish lobby.”; foreign policy adviser was Zbigniew Brzezinski, who blamed the “Jewish lobby” for America’s pro-Israel policies; Obama appointed Nawar Shora, a member of the anti-Israel, American-Arab Anti-Defamation Committee (ADC); Obama nominated Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary, who had a long record of anti-Semitism, as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Obama appointee Susan Rice went on an anti-Semitic rant in 2011; Obama nominated Samantha Power as U.N. Ambassador who was an anti-Semite and anti-Israel radical who supported shifting aid from Israel to support the Palestinians and suggested invading Israel. Note that Nancy Pelosi has been silent about the anti-Jewish hate of AOC and her Squad.  Don’t you think these actions send a message to the Democrat base?

We talked about the attempt by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to knock the sails out of striped bass fishing and now we have reports of these fish hanging out in the Sacramento River the end of December. The fish are large and can be found from Colusa to Chico and usually show up the end of February or into March. Some people call them resident fish which means they are in the waters all year long. While on the Sacramento River we must mention the Knights Landing area for sturgeon This area is always a good spot when the sturgeon come up the river.

 

Sturgeon Fishing has hit a high in San San Pablo Bay. One spot on fire is the China Camp area with other areas producing nice fish including McNier Pier. Striped bass were also in the mix with fish ranging from 10 to 30 pounds.

 

If it is crappie fishing you are after head over to Clear Lake. These fish are hitting just about anything thrown in the water. In fact there are so many fish it is difficult to get your offerings down to where the bigger fish are schooled. The little fish attack before you can get your lure or bait to the right level.

 

We have reports of big rainbow trout are being taken at Collins Lake above Marysville at this time. The biggest fish reported so far is a 12 pound rainbow trout which was caught by Sacramento angler Paul Palacios.

 

Closing thought:  “Tell me and I will forget………teach me and I will remember….involve me and I will learn.”  Ben Franklin.               

How is your advisor doing and how are they doing it?

 

Take the case of two advisors, A and B. Both advisors start out with a 100K portfolio. At the end of 12 months, advisor A has grown the portfolio to 106K while advisor B ends with a 103K balance.

 

Which is the better advisor?

 

Asked at multiple seminars I have given, the answer is usually the same. Advisor A is superior.

 

But much like a young man taking your daughter out to the prom who arrives at the dance safely and on time while another teen suitor arrives late, the end result does not necessarily mean the correct answer was the obvious one. In fact, it could be just the opposite.

 

In the case of the first young suitor who arrived on time, perhaps he drove a little too fast, ran some red lights and failed to come to a complete stop while transporting your precious little jewel while suitor 2 took his time driving more carefully.

 

The same could be said of the two advisors.

 

Much like the teen driver, in the two advisor comparison and how they managed the portfolios and their ending balances, the better answer is just how did they get there?

 

It’s true the end result from advisor A bested advisor B by a 100% margin (3k return versus 6K), but just how he did it is the real concern.

 

The word “risk” would be a key factor in this equation as well as the symptom of that risk which I call draw-down and take up.

 

I’ve talked to many investors and money professionals alike, and more often than not, the end result is the main consideration surrounding how one advisor did compared to another.

 

A serious flaw in my opinion, yet the underlying problem in this thinking will only be known when it’s usually too late.

 

The level of risk each advisor subjects his client to should be one of the main considerations when evaluating performance. In investing circles it is sometimes referred to using a technical term called “beta’. Beta is the degree of comparative movement a security historically exhibits when the overall market moves up or down.

A beta of 1.0 means the security has an historical tendency (but not a guaranteed predictor of) to move in lockstep with the overall market.

 

For instance, if stock A has a beta of 1.0, if the market drops by a certain percentage, stock A will be forecasted to drop a similar amount. Note I said “forecasted” and “similar”. Beta is a historical value, based on the past, and therefore is no guarantee of anything. It’s just represents what it has done.

 

If stock B on the other hand has a beta of 2.0, it has moved twice the degree of the overall market in the past. Conversely a number below 1.0 (such as .5) means the security may move half the amount of the overall market. A lower beta is assumed to less volatile and therefore more “conservative”.

 

One can surmise the beta of a portfolio overall by adding the beta values of each security and its percentage of the portfolio make-up then divide by the number of securities in total. This would give you the beta of the portfolio.

Continuing on, in our example of advisor A and B, “draw-down” means how much under 100K did the portfolio move at its lowest level, and “take-up” (my term) means what is the highest level it reached. The ending value (103K and 106K) in our example is the “end result” that is being evaluated.

 

If advisor A had a higher beta in the portfolio than advisor B, one would expect the draw-down of advisor A portfolio would be a greater number. An example might be the advisor A portfolio may have seen the 100K drop to 93k sometimes during the course of the investment time period while the advisor B portfolio may have only dropped to 97K. Fictional values here of course but it illustrates the point: the end result means little if you don’t know how it got there. In simple terms, what risk was the client exposed to using either advisor A and B, was it what the client expected and was it the appropriate level of risk the client should be exposed to given his particular situation.

In an up market, advisor A would likely yield better results, but much like our teen driver rushing to the prom, all is well until it isn’t. In a down market, the advisor A portfolio would probably mean bigger losses.

 

If a crash in the market was to occur, advisor B would likely be the driver of choice.

 

And much like a vehicle crash, you wouldn’t know just how bad the outcome might be until after the fact. And at that point you may wish you had picked the slower driver.

 

This article expresses the opinions of Marc Cuniberti and should not be construed or acted upon as individual investment advice. No one can predict market movements. Investing involves risk. You can lose money. The example is a fictional illustration only. 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