Financial Advice for Retirement, Social Security, IRAs and Estate Planning

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

Social Security COLA Increases

October 18, 2017

Social Security benefits will increase by 2% in 2018, thanks to the annual COLA. It’s the highest increase in years and increases the Social Security wage base to $128,700 for 2018.     […]

Housing Starts and Employment

October 17, 2017

This blog post shows the long-term relationships between housing starts and unemployment. They tend to feed off each other, with more jobs leading to more housing starts leading to more jobs. Usually near the end of a recession, residential investment1 (RI) picks up as the Fed lowers interest rates. This leads to job creation and […]

Inflation Surprises the Fed

October 17, 2017

Anyone who’s paid attention to the Federal Reserve for a while knows that its economic forecasts often are off the market. The Fed frequently overestimates inflation and growth. That’s especially true the last few years. Chairman Janet Yellen admitted over the weekend that the Fed’s been surprised by inflation. In a normal economic cycle, inflation […]

Dodge & Cox Profile

October 17, 2017

One of my favorite investment firms is Dodge & Cox. Its stock picks have outperformed the indexes over the long term. It’s also managed to implement a market-beating strategy over many decades through several management changes. And it charges low fees. Here’s a profile. Dodge & Cox is, in many ways, a throwback to a […]

Stocks vs. Art

October 16, 2017

This Bloomberg article tries to answer the question of whether art or stocks make the better investment. It does that by using the prices of two prominent paintings. The conclusion is that it depends on when a painting was purchased. And yet! There are always, and will always, be external factors that affect the price […]

China and the World Bank

October 16, 2017

China is one of the largest economies in the world and is growing faster than most others. Yet, it borrows a lot from the World Bank, which many people consider to be set up to help disadvantaged nations. This article does a good job of discussing both sides of the issue of whether China should […]

California Wildfires Could Destroy Marijuana Industry

October 13, 2017

One unexpected victim of the recent wildfires in the Napa Valley area of California might be marijuana farms, according to this article. It’s true that vineyards and other businesses suffered damages in the fires. But marijuana businesses still are illegal under federal law and so don’t have available to them some of the safety nets […]

Real Estate Bargains in Houston

October 13, 2017

This article profiles investors who are buying homes in Houston for cash, at 50% or less of what the homes were worth before Hurricane Irma. It also talks with some home sellers and those considering selling. Back in Houston, Schild joins more than 1,100 real estate investors drinking beer, eating catfish, and swapping investment tales […]

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