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

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

Disadvantages of the Bucket Investing Method

April 7, 2017

Some investment advisors favor what’s called the “bucket method” of investing. Academic types call it “time segmentation.” Basically, in this method you divide the future into time periods and assign different amounts of money to each period. Money you need in the nearest time period is invested in liquid, conservative assets. Money that is needed […]

Investment Performance Since the Election

April 6, 2017

Most investments have run hot and cold since the election. As soon as investors accepted that one asset was going to dominate the others, trends reversed. This post has a table that puts all this in perspective using most of the global asset classes, including country stock indexes. It makes a powerful case for ignoring […]

Why Investment Returns Should Decline

April 6, 2017

A number of investment firms have argued that investment returns, especially stock returns will be below the long-term averages over the next 10 years. The main reason is that Federal Reserve policies after the financial crisis artificially boosted stock returns the last few years. Here’s another argument for lower investment returns over time. This argument […]

Amazon Switches to Bricks and Mortar

April 6, 2017

After the last holiday shopping season, many analysts declared that physical retail was dying and was being replaced by online retailers, especially Amazon.com. At the same time that many are declaring the death of bricks and mortar, Amazon is creating new physical stores, even book stores. The distinguishing feature of these stores, according to this […]

Jamie Dimon’s Annual Shareholder Letter

April 5, 2017

The chairman of JP Morgan Chase has one of the most widely-read shareholder letters. Warren Buffett says Dimon’s is his favorite. The letter often is very long, 45 pages this year. It covers a wide range of topics, from details about the company and its business to commentary on national and global public policies relevant […]

Will Stocks Follow Auto Sales Down?

April 5, 2017

This article argues that falling auto sales often lead to a decline in stock prices. But the article refers only to short time periods, not to extended corrections or bear markets. A more reliable indicator of extended economic and stock market declines is real retail sales, which auto sales are part of. When these turn […]

Cognitive Dissonance in the Economy

April 5, 2017

Households and businesses are very optimistic, especially small business owners, according to surveys. But households aren’t spending, and businesses aren’t investing much. This article explains the reasons for the apparent contradiction and places much of the blame on politics and general uncertainty. People are optimistic, but not optimistic enough to take some risk. Across all […]

The Dangers of Picking the Wrong Trustees

April 4, 2017

Most estates have a trust or two, especially as the estate is more valuable. People spend a lot of time working with their estate planners on the details of the trusts. Yet, picking the trustee or trustees often is an overthought. That’s a big mistake. This article describes how the estate of one of the […]

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