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

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

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 […]

Insights from Three Who Got it Right

October 25, 2010

There aren’t many investment analysts who were right far more than wrong over the past five years. Oneof them isBill Gross of PIMCO. Another pair are Lacy Hunt and Van Hoisington of Hoisington. You probably don’t know as much about the Hoisington pair as about Gross, but their record in bond investing is comparable to […]


October 18, 2010


Jeff Gundlach Changes Portfolio

October 2, 2010

One of my recommended mutual funds, DoubleLine Total Return Bond, changed its allocation recently. The portfolio was about half weighted to treasury bonds starting in the spring, when interest rates rose briefly. Recently, manager Jeff Gundlach trimmed his treasury bond holdings because of what he calls “market divergences.” Here’s how Gundlach explained things in a […]

Turmoil in Long-Term Care Insurance

October 2, 2010

Last month John Hancock announced substantial premium increases on existing policies, with increases averaging 40%. Hancock attributed the increases to unanticipated longer life expectancies and higher-than-anticipated claims. Hancock expects the increases to go in effect in January 2011. But at least some insurance analysts disagree. They say key states (Florida, California, New York) are not […]

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