Feb/April 2012 Issue

WHY 75 YEARS OF AMERICAN FINANCE MATTERS TO
PHYSICIAN INVESTORS

[A Graphic Encore Presentation [1861-1935] with
Commentary on Modernity from the Publisher]

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko FACFAS MBA CPHQ CMP™
[Founder and Publisher-in-Chief]

As our Journal readers know, Ken Arrow is my favorite economist. Why?

About Kenneth J. Arrow, PhD

Well, in 1972, Nobel Laureate Kenneth J. Arrow, PhD shocked Academe’ by identifying health economics as a separate and distinct field. Yet, the seemingly disparate insurance, asset allocation, econometric, statistical and portfolio management principles that he studied have been transparent to most financial professionals and wealth management advisors for years.

Nevertheless, to informed cognoscenti, they served as predecessors to the modern healthcare advisory era. In 2004, Arrow was selected as one of eight recipients of the National Medal of Science for his innovative views. And, we envisioned this Journal at that time to present these increasingly integrated topics to our audience.

Healthcare Economics Today

Today – as we enter 2012 – savvy medical professionals, management consultants and financial advisors realize that the healthcare industrial complex is in flux; and this dynamic may be reflected in the overall economy.

Like many laymen seeking employment, for example, physicians are frantically searching for new ways to improve office revenues and grow personal assets, because of the economic dislocation that is Managed Care, Medi Care and Obama Care [ACA], the depressed business cycle, etc.
Moreover, the largest transfer of wealth in US history is – or was – taking place as our lay elders and mature doctors sell their practices or inherit parents’ estates. Increasingly, the artificial academic boundary between the traditional domestic economy, financial planning and contemporaneous medical practice management is blurring.

Not a Cassandra

Yet, I am no gloom and doom Cassandra like I have been accused, of late. I am not cut from the same cloth as a Jason Zweig, Jeremy Grantham or Nouriel Roubini PhD, for example.
However, I do subscribe to the philosophy of Hope for the Best – Plan for the Worst.

And so dear Journal subscribers, I ask you, “Are the latest swings in the economic, healthcare and financial headlines making you wonder when it will ever stop?”

The short answer is: “It will never stop” because what’s been happening isn’t any “new normal”; it’s just the old normal playing out before a new audience.

What audience? The next-generation of physician investors, financial advisors, management consultants and the medical professionals of Health 2.0

How do I know all this? History tells me so! Just read this work, and opine otherwise, or reach a different conclusion.

Evidence from the American Financial Scene, circa 1861-1935

The work was created by L. Merle Hostetler in 1936, while he was at Cleveland College of Western Reserve University (now known as Case Western Reserve University). I learned of him while in B-School, back in the day.

At some point after it was printed, he added the years 1936-1938. Mr. Hostetler became a Financial Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in 1943. In 1953 he was made Director of Research. He resigned from the Bank in 1962 to work for Union Commerce Bank in Cleveland. He died in 1990.

The volume appears to be self published and consists of a chart, approximately 85′ long, fan-folded into 40 pages with additional years attached to the last page. It also includes a “topical index” to the chart and some questions of technical interest which can be answered by the chart.

Assessment

And so, as with Sir John Templeton’s [whose son is an MD] four most dangerous words in investing (It’s different this time), Hostetler effectively illustrates that it wasn’t so different in his time, and it isn’t so different today for all these conjoined fields

Conclusion

While not exactly a “sacred cow,” there is a current theory that investors will experience higher volatility and lower global returns for the foreseeable future. In fact, it has gained widespread acceptance, from the above noted Cassandra’s and others, as problems in Europe persist and threats of a double-dip recession loom.

But, how true is this notion; really?

Is Hostetler correct, or not? Read and learn in this Journal issue.