COMMERCE

Prospects for Pittsburgh Where You Might Not Expect Them

by Paul Scripko
Two recent reports have me thinking about the Pittsburgh region’s future, especially those areas that aren’t part of the latest international praise for being “hip” or “high tech” or “urban cool.” It seems, touch wood, that a large part of the region is on the path to the only measures…

Down the Rabbit Hole

Each year in our summer issue, we ask a group of the region’s leading wealth managers to help our readers navigate financial waters by responding to a question. How would negative interest rates in the U.S. affect investors? Leading wealth managers respond…

Getting Rich in a Poor Market, Part VI

by Greg Curtis
In a low return environment, investors need to do things differently if we want to have any hope of growing our capital. Many of these different things – the ones I’ve already talked about – have to do with playing offense in a smarter way. We’ve examined using more aggressive…

Getting Rich In a Poor Market, Part V

by Greg Curtis
In my recent posts we’ve looked at various strategies investors might turn to if we find ourselves mired in a long period of unacceptably low investment returns. We’ve evaluated higher equity allocations, taking better advantage of the return premium associated with illiquid investments, and departing from indexing to try to…

The Decisive Decade

After going to college and law school in the south, Jack Barbour decided to return to Pittsburgh in 1979. “When I said I was going back to Pittsburgh, everyone looked at me like I was nuts. They still may look at me like I’m nuts. But there’s no longer that…

Thinking Green

Allegheny County got rid of desk-​side wastebaskets in the County Office Building and Health Department administrative offices last year and, as a result, sent 64 percent less trash to landfills.

Getting Rich In a Poor Market, Part IV

by Greg Curtis
We’ve looked at two options for our portfolios if, as seems likely, we are entering into a period of historically low returns: more aggressive allocations to equities, and taking better advantage of illiquid assets. We now turn to the question of alpha.

Getting Rich In a Poor Market, Part III

by Greg Curtis
We are speculating about possible strategies investors might use if, as seems likely, we find ourselves mired in a long period of unacceptably low investment returns.

Getting Rich in a Poor Market, Part II

by Greg Curtis
If we are, in fact, facing a prolonged period of subpar returns in both stocks and bonds, as seems likely, there are almost limitless ways this future could play out. We might, for example, simply experience long years of generally positive – but low – returns, interspersed with down years.…

The City Should Welcome Shell to Downtown Pittsburgh

In the current issue of Pittsburgh Quarterly, Publisher Doug Heuck notes the collaborative work of Pittsburgh civic leaders in helping Pittsburgh’s economic rebirth. The recent announcement that Shell is now committed to building an ethane “cracker” plant in Beaver County is an opportunity to increase that collaboration.

Getting Rich In a Poor Market

Virtually every thoughtful observer of the stock and bond markets has concluded that investment returns in the future are likely to be well below recent returns and even well below long-​term norms. This situation is reminiscent of the late 1990s. In 1999, following an almost uninterrupted 17-​year bull market, investors…

Why Are We So Afraid of Democracy? Part III

I’m arguing that there are three main reasons why our faith in democracy has taken a hit in recent years. The first reason is the deadlock in Congress that has everybody so frustrated. But as I pointed out, this isn’t a US phenomenon, it’s a global phenomenon. And it’s persisted…

Problem in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh’s unemployment rate, reported for the latest available month, April 2016, bumped up for the third month in a row to 5.8%. On the surface this is a disturbing figure given that most cities in our cohort group are experiencing falling unemployment rates. The unemployment rate in Charlotte is now…

Should We Go Fishing for PayPal?

Recently PayPal announced the cancellation of a planned operations center in North Carolina resulting from the passage of North Carolina HB2 (the “bathroom” bill). The reasons a company chooses a particular location to establish a facility are complex, but I believe Pittsburgh offers practically everything that was to be found…

Why Are We So Afraid of Democracy? Part II

Profound disagreements among the voting public have led, as noted in my last post, to profound disagreements in Congress. This has, naturally enough, led in its turn to a substantial decline in collegiality, willingness to compromise, and even civility in that not-​so-​august body. It’s hardly an exaggeration to say that…
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