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

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

Financial Worry Widespread

July 25, 2011

Americans of all wealth levels and other demographic categories are worried about the economic situation. One survey indicated two-thirds of middle income Baby Boomers believe they’ll have a more difficult time in retirement than their parents did, and 60% of them envy the guaranteed pension income their parents had. The study also noted that the […]

The Failure of Positive Thinking

July 25, 2011

There are plenty of self-help books, web sites, and theories. A popular concept is you can achieve whatever you want by imagining it, and imagining you’ve already achieved it. Some people swear it works. Others say it doesn’t, and they’re backed up by academic research. Imaging success not only doesn’t help, it sets you up […]

Questioning the Recovery

July 22, 2011

We’ve been saying for a couple of months now that the economy stalled. Others expect a second half burst, as happened in 2010. We don’t. Columnist David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal has an excellent summary of the three theories of the economy at this point. He rates the first theory (that the downturn […]

Warning on China’s Growth

July 22, 2011

I’ve been reporting for some time in Retirement Watch that China’s economic growth is too strong. It has bubbles, emerging bubbles, and rising inflation. China’s government is aware of this and has been trying to throttle back growth through interest rate increases and increases in bank reserve requirements. It looks like the efforts might be […]

Inside the Best Hedge Fund

July 22, 2011

The biggest and highest-returning hedge fund in recent years is run by Bridgewater Associates, run by Ray Dalio. Naturally, it attracts a lot of attention and some of that attention isn’t flattering. We’ve used Bridgewater Associates as a money manager at the Fairfax County Employees’ Retirement System, of which I am Chairman of the Board […]

The European Contagion

July 19, 2011

Here’s a good graphic that shows the financial links that result in the potential for a financial contagion spreading from the debt problems of a few relatively small countries in Europe. It’s an interactive active graph. For example, if you roll over the dot for Ireland, you’ll learn that loans to Ireland from Germany make […]

Preventing Alzheimer’s

July 19, 2011

A new study gives some hope that people can avoid Alzheimer’s disease. The study, reported in The Wall Street Journal, attempted to identify, quantify, and compare the risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease. It found that six of these factors are lifestyle related and concluded that a number of cases could be avoided if people […]

Getting the Big Picture Right

July 18, 2011

Investors and the media spend a lot of time focused on short-term factors, or what’s known as market noise. We try to step away from that in Retirement Watch and determine what the meaningful trends are. It’s always nice when a Nobel Prize winner in Economics seems to agree with our big picture view. Robert […]

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