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

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

The Fed Declares War on Savers

January 27, 2012

There’s been a lot of big news from global central banks over the last month or so, but the events have one consistent effect: Traditional savers and investors are in a lot of trouble. To support global economies and offset the deleveraging in the developed world, the central banks have decided to drop any restrictions […]

Google Revealed

January 26, 2012

I’ve always wondered how Google makes all that money. Like many small business owners I’ve tried advertising through Google Search and similar methods. It didn’t work. I’ve talked to other business owners who reported the same thing. They paid Google money for clicks and generated few sales. From that it’s easy to see how Google […]

Big Deficits, Low Interest Rates

January 25, 2012

I always warn people against using rules of thumb and other easy tools to make decisions. A good example is interest rates, bonds, and deficits. At the beginning of 2011, most analysts were convinced interest rates in the U.S. would rise. They had to rise, people reasoned, because the U.S. deficit was so high that […]

Why Aren’t Small Businesses Hiring?

January 25, 2012

Larger businesses have been doing well since the economy’s bottom in 2009 and have been hiring at a reasonable clip. But employment overall still is weak, and small businesses seem to be the reason. They aren’t hiring, and surveys by the NFIB indicate they don’t plan to hire anytime soon. It’s been assumed that this […]

Preparing for a Collapse

January 25, 2012

I couldn’t resist this piece from Reuters about Americans who are preparing for a collapse of civilization, or at least the economy. It interviews some “preppers” as they call themselves and refers to a web site or two. An important point is that these people are not forecasting a collapse or giving a time frame […]

Is the ETF Bubble About to Burst?

January 25, 2012

Exchange-Traded Funds are probably the most successful new product launch in the investment industry as measured by the rate of new money flows into it. But things haven’t been all roses for ETFs. A number of ETFs quietly folded or merged into other ETFs because they couldn’t attract enough assets. Many others still are available […]

China: Hard Landing or Soft?

January 23, 2012

China’s massive stimulus program in 2008 was earlier and larger than those of the developed economies and did much to propel the global economy out of the depths of the financial crisis. Multinational companies based in the U.S. and Europe earned their profits from rising sales into China and other emerging economies. Over the last […]

Deficit Spending Doesn’t Prevent Recessions

January 20, 2012

That’s the key insight in the latest quarterly commentary from Lacy Hunt and Van Hoisington at Hoisington Capital Management. The bond fund managers invested primarily in long-term treasury bonds for some time, believing that interest rates were headed lower. Each time they’ve been proven right and interest rates declined, they’re asked if rates aren’t too […]

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