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The New Social Security Claiming Rules

December 1, 2015

Congress snuck a major change to Social Security benefits claiming strategies in the latest budget, known as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The change is likely to cost retirees who would have planned carefully tens of thousands of dollars over their lifetimes. The loss is about $50,000 per couple, according to a estimate. […]

Social Security, Inflation, and Interest Rates

July 1, 2015

Many people benefit from delaying their Social Security retirement benefits until at least full retirement age. Delaying until age 70 can be an even better deal. For years I’ve shown people how to calculate the difference using what I call the quick-and-dirty method. The method involves calculating how many years you need to live after […]

Another Reason to Ignore Stock Market Forecasts

May 20, 2015

Late each year and early the following year, the economists and analysts air out their forecasts for the coming year. Each year, almost all the stock market forecasts are for returns in the high single digits (8% to 10%). That’s the long-term average annualized return. The funny thing is, these forecasts are way off the […]

Estimating Future Stock Returns

April 15, 2015

A major debate among stock analysts these days is the level of future returns that is reasonable to expect. Some argue that despite high valuations and profit margins today other factors will allow stocks to appreciate near historic average levels for the coming 10 years or so. Others argue that future returns have been pulled […]

Some Fallacies of the S&P 500

April 7, 2015

This post notes that the S&P 500 wasn’t always capitalization weighted. Until 1988 it was structured much like the Dow Jones Industrial Average but with more companies. There are a lot of thoughts that can spring from that information. One of them is that index investing isn’t really passive investing. It’s true that most active […]

How the Fed Distorts the Stock Market, and Why You Should Beware

February 25, 2015

The Fed’s easy money and low interest rate policies might have saved the economy from severe depression since 2008. But it definitely has had other effects. One effect is to distort investment markets, especially the stock market. If you’ve been following headlines, you’ve seen that few active mutual fund managers have beaten the stock indexes […]

Perhaps the Most Important Investment Issue

January 29, 2015

Growth and productivity boomed since 1982 and really going back longer. This contributed to the boom in earnings and stock prices. Is that going to continue? This post for Philosophical Economics presents the history of the profit margin boom, attributing it primarily to technology and finance. He then presents both a bullish case (that the […]

Stability in the Investment World

January 23, 2015

Ben Hunt manages money for institutional investor and writes a blog and other things intended primarily for institutional investors and hedge funds. Hunt’s latest essay explains how the novel Catch-22 relates to today’s investment world. It’s a bit wide-ranging but interesting and worth reading. Basically, Hunt believes investment markets are stable for now and for […]

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