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

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

China Against the World

May 8, 2017

Here are a couple of interesting and negative takes on China and its economic actions. The first, from The New York Times Magazine, explores whether China is becoming a new colonial power. It discusses how China has acquired assets and positions in many African countries and discusses allegations that China is exploiting the countries for […]

Wal-Mart Versus Amazon

May 8, 2017

You’ve probably seen a lot of discussion over the last year or so about how amazon.com is taking over the retail industry and driving many conventional retailers out of business. Often overlooked in those stories is how a few retailers continue to do well despite the dominance of amazon.com. Another aspect of the story is […]

A History of Mutual Funds

May 8, 2017

This is a republication on the web of a magazine article from 1999. It’s fairly brief, but it highlights some key points in mutual fund history in the U.S. I’ve always believed a good investor is a good historian. It’s important to take long-term perspectives such as this. Fund managers themselves are feckless forecasters. One […]

The Bond Market Puzzle

May 5, 2017

Byron Wein of Blackstone Group writes this month about the recent puzzling behavior he sees in the bond market. In 2017, most analysts expected interest rates to rise. Instead, they have declined, even as economic growth and the federal government debt increased. Wein believes central bank policies and risk-aversion by corporations and the wealthy are […]

Jobs Market Continues to Improve

May 5, 2017

Today’s Employment Situation reports were a positive surprise to most analysts. There were more new jobs than expected, the unemployment rate went down, and wages increased. There were other positive numbers in the report. Here’s a detailed review with charts and commentary. The number of persons working part time for economic reasons decreased in April. […]

The Average Person’s Way to Own a Manhattan Condo?

May 5, 2017

Apartments in Manhattan always have been in short supply. That’s why their prices are so high and seem to climb steadily. Most people are priced out of the Manhattan real estate market, even if they want to own property there. A new real estate investment trust developed a way for regular people to own a […]

Predictions vs. Probability

May 4, 2017

Longtime readers of Retirement Watch know that I don’t make market predictions and often criticize the media focus on them. Here’s a good article that explains the difference between a prediction and probability. It also explains why you should favor using probability and why it is so unpopular in the media and with many investors. […]

Why Retail Spending Isn’t Rising Faster

May 4, 2017

Usually increases in consumer confidence are followed by increases in retail spending. The consumer confidence measures have increased substantially following the election, but retail spending increased. This post has an explanation. The rise in consumer confidence has been uneven, focused on the elderly and less educated, while other groups have unchanged or declining confidence. But […]

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