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

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

Behind the Home Price Headlines

May 3, 2017

If you look at the national data, home prices have returned to their peak prices before the financial crisis. (That’s nominal prices, not adjusting for inflation.) But the story is different when prices are examined home by home. The real estate web site Trulia says only 34% of homes have returned to pre-crisis prices. What […]

Are High-Yield Bonds in a Bubble?

May 3, 2017

This article points out that there have been frequent warnings about overvaluation in high-yield bonds since the financial crisis ended. But the bonds keep churning out solid gains for investors, with only a few brief interruptions in the trend. It also explains why despite high valuations and other warning signs, the dire warnings about the […]

A Hedge Fund Star Fades

May 3, 2017

Solid, steady returns are better than spectacular returns. That’s because it is rare that an investor or fund can earn spectacular returns for long. Most of the time, spectacular returns are followed by spectacular losses. One example is John Paulson of the hedge fund firm Paulson & Co. He made billions by betting housing prices […]

The Wrong Bubble Predictions

May 2, 2017

Perhaps the most persistent feature of the financial world during my career is a large number of people stating that different assets are in bubbles or dangerously overvalued territory. It doesn’t matter how many times people are wrong about sighting bubbles. Investors and the media seem to flock to these negative forecasts. It’s been called […]

How to Handle a Bubble

May 2, 2017

This thoughtful essay discusses several cases in which smart, successful investors lost money because they caved in to recent trends. The fundamentals of the investments didn’t meet their criteria, but they invested anyway, because they saw other people making a lot of money and wanted to join the party. It turns out they bought at […]

Land Use Regulations Restrict Growth

May 2, 2017

In some areas of the country, housing is unaffordable for many people. This article explains that local land use regulations make housing unaffordable, and that the most economically successful areas of the country are restricting who can participate in that growth with land use regulations that make housing unaffordable. But most productive parts of America […]

The Frye Festival Scam

May 1, 2017

Most of you probably haven’t heard of the Frye Festival. I hadn’t heard about it either until last week when the stories came out that it was a scam. You should read this story and this story to learn the details. There are important lessons here for consumers and for investors. This was a very […]

The Dividend Growth Myth

May 1, 2017

Do stocks with consistently increasing dividends earn higher long-term returns than other stocks. That’s the accepted wisdom. Take a look at this article from Meb Faber. He argues that the dividend growth dominance is based on a chart issued by a market research firm that used an unconventional method of computing the returns. Once a […]

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