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Free Trade Implications

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Mar 28, 2007 6:30 pm

" Pain from Free Trade Spurs Second Thoughts", WSJ, page 1, 3/28/07. Economist Alan Blinder, a free trade advocate, concludes internet outsourcing will shift millions of technical jobs overseas.

His conclusion, (for job creation), " the focus should be on jobs with person to person contact, regardless of pay level and skills -  from child day care providers to physicians. "

What are the implications/threats/opportunities for our industry?

Since middle class America has been feeling the pain, this " shift " in thinking could affect the election, tax environment, markets.

For example, engineering jobs in software and electronics can easily be shifted overseas, but civil engineering jobs still require good social skills and onsight presence.

The educated class will not " take it " ? How can we be good capitalists and good stewards of our client's capital?

Mar 28, 2007 10:12 pm

This is too heady for me to even attempt a response… I do know that Peter Drucker has made several comments on such things from the management perspective. Google ‘Peter Drucker, free trade’. A few things that may be helpful popped up.

The one thing I might say is that I have done my darndest to get out of the ‘investment’ business and into the client management practice. I like to say that I help my clients achieve their longer term financial goals regardsless of what life throws at them. We define what’s important, and then we send a pic of that & the way they wish to travel to professionals who actually run the money. Finally, we check in periodically on those professionals & make sure that they’re doing what we asked of them & if our goals change, or if we’re shuffled down a detour we reassess.

We have limited control of the outside world & globalization has been going on for a long time. Sure, it will continue and at a quickening pace! What we do have control over is defining our client’s goals, creating a path for them to get there & building walls along the way to keep the predators at bay.

I’ve come to believe I’m just not smart enough to handle such topics…


Mar 28, 2007 10:18 pm

The worst part of exporting those telephone jobs to India is that they all call in and vote for Sanjaya!

You try getting through to "customer service" on a Tuesday night! Forget it! All the technicians are busy with other customers now! AS IF! They'll all calling American Idol!

Listen, You don't need to be able to carry a tune to sing that "Pop Music" they listen to in India! In fact I think its probably a bad thing to hit  a whole note in Indian "music".

I kid the Indian peoples! I'm here all week, try the veal... NO WAIT! I mean the Lamb!

Mar 28, 2007 10:38 pm

Well put, Ashland. Around the year 2000, folks thought we were in a "new paradigm" - tech had transformed the traditional notions of economic cylcles and what is important as growth and value in the economy.

But we were in a bubble, and as it relate to us and our clients, funds had experienced style drift and such, heck, they were mostly buying the same 20 stocks.

But since 9/11 the world is transformed, it was really in part a reaction to globalization by a secular culture.

So although we are partly in a " new paradigm", historical performance matters, but not like it did before.

Much of this comes down to what really matters, like portfolio allocation - for the client, at any point in time. We can't time the market, but we can think for ourselves.

You see so little discussion about that here, yet when talking to clients, this is what they really care about.

Mar 28, 2007 10:42 pm

Whoomit, yoo kid da Indian peoples. Ever notice how testy the Indians get at the call centers, compared to say, the Philippinas? Yoo kan eat da bannnana and kid da dindians, but I'll take Manilla any day.

Mar 29, 2007 2:36 am

Always in motion is the future.


Mar 29, 2007 2:55 am

Yo Yoda, check out #2.

Mar 31, 2007 5:41 pm

But the fans also include older women and Indian-Americans, and Mr. Malakar’s progress is being tracked voraciously by Indian newspapers in both the United States and India. And they probably include executives at Fox, the television network that is riding “American Idol” to the top of the ratings. l?8br

See? I told you so! Whom da MAN?!