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The Cost of Cheap Oil

The world price of oil - Brent Crude - fell below $84 per barrel on October 15. What is going on? Why does the price of oil matter to financial advisors? What might these fluctuations mean to the price and supply of oil for the rest of the decade?

Oil Abundance? Not So Fast- A Risk Checklist

Understanding how we use oil and where it comes from provides many reasons why Americans should be worried about the future of oil supplies.

Oil Abundance? Not So Fast - Drilling holes in the energy boom story

 The story of America’s new energy abundance has been accepted uncritically by too many people.

Commentary: Looking Back at Peak Oil

Peak Oil – the maximum sustainable rate of global oil production - happened in 2012. That’s one of the main conclusions of a new report, Fossil and Nuclear Fuels – The Supply Outlook, released in March 2013 by the Energy Watch Group (EWG). This event will have profound long-term implications for how advisors should manage clients’ portfolios, and how clients should plan …

Is fracking a "happy solution" to our energy needs?

Looking at technical, economic, energetic, and environmental issues, this is a  wide-ranging response for financial advisors by a long-time planner and ASPO board member.

Book review: "Energy and the Wealth of Nations"

When our society relies on an understanding of economics that did not predict, prevent, or mitigate the current economic crisis, and that, more importantly, does not effectively address climate change or resource depletion, it is time for a new and different approach to understanding the economy. That premise is the foundation of Energy and the Wealth of Nations, an important book by ecologist …

Can overconfidence be overcome in advance?

What seems to be missing from the coming New York Times energy conference is a sense of skepticism about the underlying assumptions for energy sufficiency in the decades to come. The agenda, speakers, and likely attendees remind one of what a shipboard symposium might have been like on the future of trans-Atlantic shipping held in the salon of the Titanic exactly one hundred years earlier. …

The energy expert you shouldn’t trust

Daniel Yergin has written The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World, designed to provide information that policy-makers can rely upon in shaping energy policy for the decades ahead. This could be a dangerous reliance, for Yergin is an advocate for the fossil fuel community, not an honest broker of information. Nearly all the data cited in the book is from his company …

A flock of black swans

Events like oil spills, the "flash crash," volcanos, and floods will have an increasing impact on the economy and the availability of capital. Unfortunately, most money managers and other strategists do not include these factors in their plans and decision processes. They should.

Commentary: Redefining “peak oil” for the USA

Peak Oil’s impact on the United States will probably be more severe than what most other countries will feel. This follows from a different way of thinking about the problem – availability vs. production...I would suggest that this is not the most useful way to consider the question.