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27 01, 2015

Traveler’s Checklist 2015

By | 2015-01-27T18:30:45-04:00 January 27th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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27 01, 2015

Deals of the Week

By | 2015-01-27T18:29:06-04:00 January 27th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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27 01, 2015

Traveler Health in Africa

By | 2015-01-27T18:27:43-04:00 January 27th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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22 01, 2015

Do you like Pinot Noir

By | 2017-03-06T12:04:51-04:00 January 22nd, 2015|wine|0 Comments

If you like Pinot Noir you are in for a treat. If you like a vintage that produced great drinking wines across the board then keep on reading. In 2012 Oregon produced a wonderful vintage.  You will find lovely wines across the spectrum from almost every vineyard. That said one wine critic had this to say: “ don’t mean to scare you away from 2012 Oregon Pinot Noir. Maybe you love that wild orgy of mouth-meltingly ripe fruit that warmth and drought can impart to Pinot Noir. In that case, buy this stuff by the case, buy every producer from every corner of the valley at every price point, because these wines were minted by god and nature in a workshop inside your head. I may like Pinot Noir that has power without weight, but if [...]

13 01, 2015

Is capitalism finally retuning to the United States.

By | 2017-03-06T12:04:51-04:00 January 13th, 2015|business advisory|0 Comments

Capitalism is a little like a seesaw. There are winners and losers and it continually moves back and forth. Nothing can go up forever nor can they go down forever. It is my opinion that for the last several years we have been living in a benign economic environment. The seesaw has not been moving.    My friends in lending tell me that they are having a difficult time lending money, yet the Fed has made the economy awash in cash. My investment banking friends tell me deal flow is slow. My own experience in this area leads me to the same conclusion. We have looked at several deals under our new PE firm www.westondelray.com and deals do not get past the initial due diligence. All this said [...]

24 02, 2014

Retail Sales Remain soft – is unemployment really 6.7%

By | 2017-03-06T12:04:51-04:00 February 24th, 2014|business advisory|0 Comments

Brick and mortar retailers continue to see declining sales. Reported Unemployment is below 7% yet consumers continue to hunker down. Is this an oxymoron or is something else transpiring. Boston Federal Reserve President Rosengren’s speech on February 6, 2014 may shed some light on the subject outlining his view of the unemployment rate may shed some light. First, let’s look at the retail reporting for January 2014. Walmart – reporting expectation in the red on same store sales for the month of January and believes the holiday shopping season will reflect a decline from the previous year. Walmart is blaming reduction in FOOD STAMPS and utility costs incurred by its low income customers. Retailers report demand was not there in January following a push to move inventory during the holiday sales season. Shoptrac reports overall January sales [...]

12 02, 2014

Momentous 2011 Vintage Port and Reds from Portugal

By | 2014-02-12T11:18:06-04:00 February 12th, 2014|wine|0 Comments

Portugal’s growing conditions were just superb in 2011 creating a momentous year for vintage port.  Simply put they are wonderful and belong in your cellar.  The growing season was ideal and to quote Kim Marcus of the WineSpectator “Tasting these Vintage Ports is revelatory. Their intense fruitiness is seductive, and the alcohol added to fortify the wine makes them heady and expressive. Many are enticing to enjoy now for their youthful vibrancy and fruitiness, but they will offer more elegance, integration and refinement as they age. Like all of the highest quality Vintage Ports, these will require at least 15 to 20 years in the cellar for the alcohol and fruit flavors to mellow, beginning the long road to becoming fully mature Port. Some may drink well into the latter part of the century.” Not everyone wishes [...]

5 02, 2014

Manufacturing activity a blip or more serious

By | 2017-03-06T12:04:51-04:00 February 5th, 2014|business advisory|0 Comments

The February 3rd report in the WSJ outlined continued decline in manufacturing activity in the US provided an insight into an economic slowdown.  It is not surprising to see the slowdown in manufacturing based upon GDP data that indicates inventory build has been a major contributor to GDP over the last few quarters.  What is concerning is a reading above 50 indicates expansion so the manufacturing sector is still expanding but the decline in January from 56.5 to 51.3 should put up some yellow lights.  This is the largest one month drop since May of 2011.  The new order index is down substantially creating concern about the coming months. Summary of Manufacturing data for January Index One month change Manufacturing activity 51.3 -5.2 New Orders 51.2 -13.2 Production 54.8 -6.9 employment 52.3 -3.5   This news is [...]

17 01, 2014

Holiday Retail Revenue a Mixed Bag

By | 2017-03-06T12:04:51-04:00 January 17th, 2014|business advisory, Uncategorized|0 Comments

This is a continuation of my blog on tracking holiday retail revenue together with detailed changes in retail sales by sector for December.  We continue to see inventory growth that is not a major concern today but tomorrow may bring a different response.  The holiday retail revenue results were a mixed bag as consumers continue to be cautious or is it a lack of disposable income.  Year end 2013 sales data is arriving from the commerce department.  Surprise we had downward adjustment of October and November sales data and early returns of the December data reveals a mixed bag.  Tuesday's retail-sales report also took some of the shine off prior figures. Retail sales were revised down to a 0.5% increase in October and a 0.4% gain in November. Solid economic growth with these types of gains is [...]

14 01, 2014

2012 German Riesling

By | 2017-03-06T12:04:51-04:00 January 14th, 2014|Uncategorized, wine|0 Comments

Most growers will have had among their best vintages of the last decade in 2012.  The 2012 German Riesling is worth seeking out.  This blog was written after work last night.  Joan was making scrod and bay scallops so off to the local wine store for a bottle of white wine I ventured.  Low and behold we found the Dr. Loosen Riesling Mosel.  We found the wine a little different with an aroma of pineapple.  The flavor was a nice mix of citrus and mineral with red grapefruit and pineapple up front followed with nice acidity and finish.  The wine went very nicely with the seafood.  Cost was $14.  See WineSpectator's review below. “What sets 2012 apart from other recent vintages is that due to a long, cooler season, [the] physiological ripeness has been achieved before a significant [...]

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