Jim Probasco

Contributing Author

Jim is a veteran business writer with more than 30 years’ experience including online, print, radio and television.

He has written business and finance related content for a variety of online and print outlets in areas that include personal finance, the stock market and profiles of industry leaders.

Jim was head writer for a series of Public Broadcasting Service television specials and a staff comedy writer for the Marconi Award winning Gary Burbank Show on WLW radio.

He continues to write radio short form comedy airing on more than 200 stations nationwide. When not writing, Jim enjoys hiking, fishing, reading, playing his trombone and traveling with his wife.

Blog posts

News and Articles
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  • Bull Market Trading Strategies
    Feb. 19, 2018, 9:33 a.m. by

    When it’s a bull market, investors use a variety of strategies to make money. Some of these strategies are straight-forward examples of buying a stock at one price and selling it at a higher price. These strategies follow varying degrees of risk for investors.

  • While the rest of the world argues the pros and cons of the new U.S. tax law, many analysts and investors are concerned that a provision in the tax overhaul could complicate their efforts to compare a company’s earnings to its cash flow. This is important because this is how the traditional way analysts assess earnings quality.

  • The American Society of Civil Engineers issues a report card every 4 years on the condition of the nation's infrastructure. The most recent grade (2017) is D+. Monday President Trump proposed a new $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan including a $200 billion contribution from the federal government over the next decade designed to encourage $1.3 trillion in spending by cities, states and the private sector.

  • The Taylor Rule And Interest Rates
    Feb. 13, 2018, 10:48 a.m. by

    Economist, John Taylor, came up with an interest rate forecasting model that became known as the Taylor Rule in 1992. The Taylor Rule came about as a reaction to rational expectations theory models like the Phillips Curve that attempted to forecast the trade-off between inflation and employment.

  • Behind The Budget Deal
    Feb. 11, 2018, 9:51 a.m. by

    The hourslong second government shutdown of the new year ended early Friday morning thanks to a coalition of moderate House Republicans and Democrats who combined to resolve a fiscal fight that has kept Congress from doing the one thing it is tasked with doing – passing a budget.

  • The Elliott Wave Theory Today
    Feb. 9, 2018, 10:55 a.m. by

    The stock market is filled with investing theories, each of which typically falls into one of two types – technical and fundamental. The Elliott Wave Theory is a form of technical analysis invented by Ralph Nelson Elliott in the late 1920s. Elliott believe the market was not chaotic but instead trades in cycles. The makeup of these cycles (or waves) and how they operate forms the basis for Elliott’s theory.

  • The Dangers Of Volatility Trading
    Feb. 9, 2018, 10:52 a.m. by

    Volatility is a measure of the uncertainty or risk related to changes in the value of a security. High volatility suggests the value of the security will be wider (both positive and negative) and low volatility indicates the value will change at a steadier pace over time.

  • How To Handle Market Mayhem
    Feb. 7, 2018, 10:52 a.m. by

    The recent stock selloff in the U.S., Europe and Asia resulted in all 3 regions giving up their 2018 gains after two days of trading. Hedging only slightly, Tim Anderson, managing director at TJM Investments said, “This is the first time in a while I’d say it feels like borderline panic-type selling.” That near panic, which led to yelling on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, was something not seen since Brexit vote according to Anderson.

  • When The Dollar Falls
    Feb. 7, 2018, 10:52 a.m. by

    Monday the U.S. dollar traded slightly higher against the euro and the pound. This followed Friday’s news of a pickup in wage growth a possible signal of impending inflation. The inflation fears sent risky assets lower on the implication the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates making borrowing costlier for business.

  • Do-It-Yourself Investing
    Feb. 5, 2018, 10:22 a.m. by

    The 3 main choices people have for investing include hiring a professional financial adviser, using an algorithm-based robo adviser and do-it-yourself. There are arguments for and against all 3 approaches as well as arguments in favor of a hybrid approach that utilizes 2 or 3 systems.

  • Digging In On Diversification
    Feb. 5, 2018, 10:19 a.m. by

    The idea of having a diversified investment portfolio, part of Harry Markowitz’ Nobel Prize winning modern portfolio theory (MPT), is so ingrained in the minds of investors today that sometimes even the most experienced people who play the market fail to consciously take diversification into account when making buy and sell decisions.

  • Government attempts to fix health care have been less than impressive. Now, Amazon.com Inc. (NSDQ:AMZN C), Berkshire Hathaway Inc. BRKB, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM C) are going to give it a try.

  • Within the parameters of what most people think about when they think about banks there are two types – retail and corporate. Retail banking refers to the part of a bank that deals directly with consumers. Corporate banking, as might be surmised, deals with the part of a bank or a type of bank that deals with businesses.

  • Small Cap Cautions Are In Order
    Jan. 30, 2018, 10:33 a.m. by

    Anybody paying attention has noticed that small-cap stocks are doing very well. Many analysts believe this trend will continue through the entire year. This does not mean there are not risks you as an investor shouldn’t consider. With small caps right now the two most prominent risks have to do with high valuations and high debt.

  • What If The Bull Keeps Charging?
    Jan. 30, 2018, 10:30 a.m. by

    There’s been a lot of talk about how the stock market might be overbought, overpriced and headed for a “correction” soon. Many investors spend most of their time trying to determine when they exit. There are a few experts, however, who take a much more long-term view.

  • The CAPE ratio or Cyclically Adjusted P/E ratio, popularized by Yale University professor Robert Shiller, has been cited recently as an indication that a bear market is coming. The ratio currently sits at 32.1 versus its long-term average of 16.8. According to Shiller this signals an expensive stock market. While Shiller isn’t predicting an imminent bear market, he does say investors should be aware and avoid being too complacent.

  • Capital Gains Explained
    Jan. 25, 2018, 9:18 a.m. by

    Generally speaking when you buy something and sell it for a profit, you’ve had a capital gain. (When you sell it for less than you paid for it, you have a capital loss.) Both capital gains and capital losses have tax consequences. It can get a little complicated, but if you understand the basics, it’s not rocket science.

  • Financial Forecasting
    Jan. 23, 2018, 9:43 a.m. by

    In basic terms financial forecasting is something corporations do to determine how to allocate resources for the future – typically a year in advance. From the investor’s point of view, forecasting can be a useful tool to determine if certain events such as sales expectations will increase or decrease the value of the shares they hold in each company.

  • Don’t Just Buy What You Know
    Jan. 23, 2018, 9:40 a.m. by

    When someone like legendary investor, Warren Buffett, entreaties you to “buy what you know” you are likely to take that advice. After all, the Oracle of Omaha has done well. Very well. The idea behind buying what you know is that investors who invest in companies they understand, they are less likely to make a bad investment and lose money. That said, there are limitations to “buy what you know” and it’s worth considering them before making a simple phrase your one and only investing philosophy.

  • IBM Enters Blockchain
    Jan. 19, 2018, 8:56 a.m. by

    Blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is widely seen as an emerging space in 2018 and beyond. Cryptocurrency, on the other hand, despite its astonishing growth is viewed by many as unstable and the potential leading edge of an economic bubble that could burst at any time.

  • Basics Of Bonds
    Jan. 18, 2018, 10:57 a.m. by

    A bond is a fixed income type of investment. Essentially you, as an investor, are loaning money to an entity (corporate or government) for a defined period at a variable or fixed interest rate. Many government and corporate bonds are traded on exchanges. Others are traded only over-the-counter (OTC). Money raised from the sale of bonds is used to finance new projects, maintain ongoing operations or refinance debt.

  • Identifying Takeover Targets
    Jan. 17, 2018, 9:54 a.m. by

    Identifying and tracking takeover targets is an important part of investing due diligence. After all, if a company in which you are investing – or planning to invest in is a target or a potential acquirer, you’d want to know that, right?

  • 4 Sectors To Watch In 2018
    Jan. 17, 2018, 9:51 a.m. by

    At the beginning of every year Wall Street experts and analysts tout the stocks and sectors they think will be the big winners over the coming 12 months. It’s still speculation – even if it is informed speculation. Investors, therefore, not only have to review the “picks” but also the reasons behind the picks.