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

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

Exposing Fake Financial News

April 14, 2017

The SEC sued 27 individuals and organizations for fraudulently promoting stocks on various web sites. The SEC says the writers were paid to promote the stocks and didn’t reveal that in the articles. Many falsely stated that they weren’t being compensated for writing the pieces. While we’d like to believe that this will end or […]

A TIPS Update

April 14, 2017

Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) have been around for 20 years now. How have they done as an investment? Morningstar.com reviews their performance, the expectations, and when TIPS might be good for a portfolio. The introduction of TIPS brought with it a market-determined observable real rate of interest, which is what the yield on a TIPS […]

Disappearing U.S. Homeowners

April 13, 2017

The home ownership rate in the U.S. continues to decline despite the economic recovery. This article discusses the reasons. Some analysts try to pin the trend on only one factor, but there’s more than that at work. The article reports on the results of several surveys, and finds there were different responses to the different […]

Why Filing Taxes Costs Too Much

April 13, 2017

Each year around this time I write a little about how lobbyists for tech companies make filing your taxes more costly, complicated, and inconvenient than it has to be. They also make identity theft and tax return fraud easier, costing the government billions of dollars. Slowly, others have been joining in. Here’s a long piece […]

The New Look in Obituaries

April 13, 2017

If you don’t prepare an obituary as part of your estate planning package, your heirs might have a bit of fun with it, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription might be required). The article says that funeral home directors noticed that in recent years survivors have been willing to point out that no one […]

The Follies of Financial Data

April 12, 2017

In my book, Invest Like a Fox…Not Like a Hedgehog I explained the numerous problems in the data mining that many investment firms engage in to develop a strategy. I pointed to one study that found the economic statistic with the greatest correlation to the S&P 500 is butter production in Nigeria. This article discusses […]

Defending Investment Management Fees

April 12, 2017

The Yale University Endowment Fund doesn’t follow the low-cost, index investing strategy of portfolio management. Instead, it owns a lot of hedge funds, private equity funds, and similar investments. The endowment pays a lot of fees to the managers of these funds, and it thinks that’s a good idea. In its annual report the endowment […]

Why Active Management is So Hard

April 12, 2017

It’s not costs and fees. The problem also isn’t that managers are dumb, according to this article. It summarizes some academic research that largely has been ignored but does a better job of explaining how hard active management is than other approaches. The problem is that stocks actually are a bad long-term investment. A small […]

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