Michael K. Farr is president and majority owner of Farr, Miller & Washington LLC. He is chairman of the investment committee and is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day activities of the firm. Prior to starting FM&W, he was a principal with Alex, Brown & Sons.
Farr is a paid contributor for CNBC television and has appeared on "The Today Show," "Good Morning America," "NBC's Nightly News," CNN, Bloomberg TV, Reuters and the "Nightly Business Report." Farr is heard on Associated Press Radio, CBS Radio and National Public Radio. His market blogs can be found on CNBC.com, HuffingtonPost.com and Politico.com.
He is a member of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., National Association for Business Economics,The World Presidents' Organization, International Atlantic Economic Society and The Washington Association of Money Managers. He is the author of "A Million Is Not Enough" and "The Arrogance Cycle." His third book, "Restoring Our American Dream: The Best Investment," was released in March 2013 and is available on Amazon.
Farr is the chairman of the Sibley Memorial Hospital Foundation. He also serves on the board of trustees at Sibley Hospital; he is the former vice chairman of the board of the Salvation Army; a former member of the Board of Trustees of Ford's Theatre; the former chairman of the board of directors of the Traveler's Aid Society, Nation's Capitol Progress Foundation; and the Paul Berry Academic Scholarship Foundation. He also is a member of the board of the Neediest Kids.
He graduated from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. He is married and has two children.
There are a few things that may bring the retail investor back into the market in the near term: the elections may deliver a Republican majority in Congress, we are likely to get more clarity regarding the new bank regulatory landscape as the Basel Committee delivers their recommendations over the next few days/weeks and we are likely to get a report on the causes of the "flash crash" that has instilled fear in many a retail investor.
Yes, I know that bond holders have been among the precious few investors to have enjoyed positive returns over the past ten years. Yes, I know that equity guys usually favor equities. I begin with these two disclaimers because of the intense criticism readers send in whenever I caution against buying bonds.
We know that jobs aren’t being added and that consumers have their saving hats on. Neither offers much encouragement for speedy recovery. But pay attention to stocks.
We continue to believe (and the Fed appears to agree) that a stabilization in housing is key to any self-sustaining economic recovery. Therefore, it should not come as a major surprise that the Fed changed course and decided to maintain the size of its portfolio.
The public is beginning to understand that the economic recovery remains very tenuous. Therefore, we do not believe that any new taxes, including an increase in rates on the "rich", would receive much popular support at this stage.
As Bernanke & Company are keenly aware, companies are neither hiring new workers nor investing aggressively in new plants and equipment. Rather, most companies are content to sit on their fortunes while earning just a fraction of a percent on their money