The Independent Market Observer

A Foggy Day, But Clearing Ahead

Posted by Brad McMillan, CFA®, CFP®

Find me on:

This entry was posted on Aug 10, 2012 7:59:40 AM

and tagged Commentary

Leave a comment

Once again, nothing particularly new or noteworthy on economics, politics, or finance in the papers. One article I did find interesting was on a tidal power project here in Maine that’s nearing completion: “The Search for Energy Takes a Turn Underwater” on page A8 of the New York Times (NYT). Apparently, this will be the first commercial tidal power station. If it’s successful, it could lead to further development.

As I have outlined before, energy is the one big area where the U.S. is vulnerable, but the fact that we keep exploring different ways to generate energy should help solve the problem—and probably sooner rather than later. There is an unavoidable gestation period for new technologies, but when they do hit, they can have huge effects in a short period of time. Fracking is the best example I can think of—it has already changed the natural gas world—but there are others as well. Tidal power may or may not be one of them, but this potential energy source has been under development for a while, and it’s getting close to viability.

Throughout the past few decades, we have seen this kind of phase shift in computing, networks, cell phones, and other industries. This may be the decade when energy does the same thing. Imagine the energy supply/demand equation changing to the same degree that, say, the phone industry did. Remember long-distance charges? Your kids won’t.

I spend a lot of time thinking about what can go wrong, as I should. It is just as important, though, to keep an eye on what is going right.

Off to do more lobster roll research.

Have a great day!

Subscribe via Email

New call-to-action
Crash-Test Investing

Hot Topics

New Call-to-action



see all



The information on this website is intended for informational/educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice, a solicitation, or a recommendation to buy or sell any security or investment product. Please contact your financial professional for more information specific to your situation.

Certain sections of this commentary contain forward-looking statements that are based on our reasonable expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.

The S&P 500 Index is a broad-based measurement of changes in stock market conditions based on the average performance of 500 widely held common stocks. All indices are unmanaged and investors cannot invest directly in an index.

The MSCI EAFE (Europe, Australia, Far East) Index is a free float‐adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets, excluding the U.S. and Canada. The MSCI EAFE Index consists of 21 developed market country indices.

One basis point (bp) is equal to 1/100th of 1 percent, or 0.01 percent.

The VIX (CBOE Volatility Index) measures the market’s expectation of 30-day volatility across a wide range of S&P 500 options.

The forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio divides the current share price of the index by its estimated future earnings.

Third-party links are provided to you as a courtesy. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided on these websites. Information on such sites, including third-party links contained within, should not be construed as an endorsement or adoption by Commonwealth of any kind. You should consult with a financial advisor regarding your specific situation.


Please review our Terms of Use

Commonwealth Financial Network®