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

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

Signs of Life in the Economy

November 10, 2010

We’ve focused on the reasons to be cautious about the economy, but there are a couple of recent reasons to be a little optimistic. Small business is a key to the economy. Large businesses are doing well because they received the bulk of the stimulus and are able to export to the fast-growing developing nations. […]

The Retirement Gap

November 8, 2010

The U.S. collectively has a “retirement income adequacy” deficit of $4.6 trillion. That comes out to $48,000 per individual, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute. Without Social Security, the deficit would double. Since the late 1990s EBRI estimated how much money Americans will need for “basic” expenses (food, shelter, etc.) and uninsured health care […]

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.” […]

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 […]

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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