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

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

Interpreting the Bond Market

December 8, 2017

The yield curve is getting flatter, meaning the difference between short-term yields and long-term yields is shrinking. Normally a flat yield curve indicates the economy is slowing. An inverted yield curve (shorter term rates higher than longer-term rates) indicates a recession is near. But we live in different times. This article argues that today’s yield […]

2018’s Big Risk

December 8, 2017

The major risk of the last few years continues in 2018 and might even be a bigger risk. This article explains that the economy could do better than expected in 2018 and cause central banks to decide they need to tighten even more. I still think central banks are aware they have little ability to […]

Against Flexible Spending Accounts

December 8, 2017

The well-known employee fringe benefit comes with tax advantages and a lot of restrictions and requirements. This post explains why two economists hate FSAs and believe they are inefficient. Scott’s point is twofold. First, there is a lot of waste in crawling down the road. Second, taken in isolation, it looks like the plan at […]

Expecting the Unexpected

December 7, 2017

This article explains why stocks might not be overvalued today and uses it as a discussion to avoiding mistakes when interpreting data. It’s a useful lesson that should be remembered when interpreting market data or listening to discussions about markets. As you can see, a higher CAPE ratio is typically correlated with stock market peaks, […]

The Chinese Real Estate Bubble

December 7, 2017

Among China’s imbalances are a high debt level and excessive building in residential real estate. This study from Reuters says additional problems are that much of the real estate purchases were fueled by debt and fraud. Reuters speculates that at some point banks will run into trouble when the loans default. Mortgage fraud like the […]

Where the Bargains Are

December 7, 2017

Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab & Co. has a new post showing the price-earnings valuations of different market indexes. It shows that U.S. stocks are the most expensive in the world and that there are better bargains and margins of safety outside the U.S. Though valuations are above average—reflecting the better than average economic and […]

CEOs Almost Very Optimistic

December 6, 2017

The Business Roundtable says that the economic outlook from CEOs is at its highest level in six years. Yet, the CEOs still aren’t ready to engage in large scale hiring to fill all the job openings they complain about. But it does look like they’re ready to increase capital spending. Despite anticipating tax cuts, the […]

Vanguard Strays from Its Roots

December 6, 2017

The leading sponsor of index funds is adding to its selection of other management styles. This article explains that Vanguard is offering new ETFs that engage in factor investing and similar practices. These are investing styles that Vanguard’s former leader, John Bogle, criticizes a lot. What makes the new factor and smart-beta offerings from Vanguard […]

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