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

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

Don’t Rely on Government Data

November 4, 2010

I’m always amused when investors, whether professionals or individuals, make big decisions based on the latest economic data. The monthly employment report is a favorite source of amusement for me, because it is so volatile and unreliable. The same is true with a lot of other government data. It’s frequently revised by significant amounts over […]

The Election and Your Money

November 3, 2010

I’ll be preparing more analysis of yesterday’s elections and how they affect your finances. One great myth floating around is that gridlock in Washington (control of the branches of government split between the parties) is good for stocks, the economy, and investors. This conclusion is based on a small number of examples and is skewed […]

Marty Whitman Speaks Out

November 2, 2010

The manager of Third Avenue Value Fund and head of the Third Avenue fund group was interviewed in this week’s (Nov. 1, 2010) issue of Barron’s. It was classic Whitman all the way. (Subscription might be required.) He criticized most of the conventional investment strategies, referring to them as “absolute garbage” and “worse than useless.” […]

Managing Income to Last

November 2, 2010

What’s the best way to spend your portfolio during retirement? Three methods were examined by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: Spending only interest; spending 4% of assets; and buying an inflation-indexed annuity. The study found that spending interest-only increased the risk of outliving one’s assets. Drawing own 4% of assets annually also […]

Sustaining Your Health for Life

November 1, 2010

We like to point out that a successful retirement requires more than financial security. The idea is financial independence helps you do the other things that make retirement enjoyable and fulfilling. Another key to successful retirement is maintaining your health, especially mobility. This piece in The New York Times explains that muscle-strengthening articles are important […]

Wealthy Feeling the Pinch

November 1, 2010

The wealthy are changing their behavior as a result of the financial crisis, just like the rest of us. Merrill Lynch does a periodic survey of wealthy investors to assess their outlook and the actions they are taking. The latest survey found a significant minority were cutting back on their spending for such nonessentials as […]

QE 2 Still Being Debated

October 29, 2010

Sometimes it seems the only people who favor another round of Quantitative Easing are the Fed members and a few diehard Keynesian economists. This week Bill Gross of PIMCO weighed in with a much-discussed monthly commentary. Gross’s take is that the economy is in a liquidity trap,  meaning individuals and businesses aren’t going to borrow […]

What Happened to Merrill Lynch

October 28, 2010

Merrill Lynch once was considered Middle America’s broker and one of the most profitable firms on Wall Street. All that ended rather quickly in the financial crisis. Investors wonder exactly what happened. We know the firm ended with billions of dollars of bad mortgages on its books, but how did a brokerage firm evolve to […]

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