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

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

Understanding the European Crisis

January 9, 2012

The European sovereign debt crisis dominated the headlines and market actions for longer than a year. It’s been going on so long and had so many twist and turns that people are getting confused. The Wall Street Journal did some very good background research and summarized the key points in a series of articles and […]

Is Your Brokerage Account Safe?

January 9, 2012

Last year’s bankruptcy of MF Global has more people asking about the safety and protection of brokerage accounts. Money disappeared from customer accounts at MF Global, apparently, and some customers didn’t have access to their accounts for some period of time. The safety of your account depends on the type of assets you own. Options, […]

You Won’t Want to Miss This

January 6, 2012

In case you haven’t seen this (the most-viewed item on The Wall Street Journal online on New Year’s Day) (subscription might be required), you’ll probably want to read it. It’s an excerpt from a new book by a surgeon providing unusually candid commentary on what surgeons think and do. It covers things such as why […]

Most People Too Passive with Portfolios

January 6, 2012

People adopted a number of bad investment practices in the 1990s, and they continue to follow them. One simple strategy that will boost returns is to rebalance a portfolio periodically. Sell what’s done well and buy more of what’s declined until your portfolio is back to your planned allocation. That’s a way to sell high […]

Another Rule of Thumb that’s a Rule of Dumb

January 6, 2012

One of my regular themes in Retirement Watch is that people hurt themselves financially by taking the easy way out and following rules of thumb. The rules often are endorsed by big name firms or the major media, so it usually seems the same thing to do. But most rules of thumb are based on […]

Financial Security Depends on Your State?

January 5, 2012

I don’t often put much stock in surveys like this one, but they’re interesting. The Employee Benefits Research Institute examined data on the financial literacy of people in the different states and on the financial behavior of them. It then compiled the data to determine which states have the highest financial IQs. There were some […]

What Happens to Your Debts?

January 5, 2012

There’s been a lot of attention lately to the issue of what happens to a person’s debts after he dies. It seems there are firms that specialize in collecting the debts of the deceased, often by telling survivors they need to pay and often by not being completely honest. We’ll have more detail in a […]

Build Your Own Annuity

January 5, 2012

I’ve often pointed out that people can build their own indexed annuity, receiving most of the benefits of commercial annuities at less cost, to the consternation of some insurance agents. Yet, you can use strategies similar to those used by insurers to generate the same guarantees and returns in your own accounts. You don’t have […]

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