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Social Security

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Social Security Shortchanges Widows, Widowers

March 22, 2018

Not for the first time, the Social Security Inspector General issued a report concluding that the Social Security Administration systematically shortchanges widows and widowers. Here’s how it works. When a spouse dies, a surviving spouse who is younger than age 70 has a choice to file only for a survivor’s benefit now and to later […]

Social Security Underpays Widowed Beneficiaries

February 22, 2018

For the second time in four years and third time since 2008, the Social Security Office of the Inspector General concluded that the agency is significantly underpaying benefits to widowed beneficiaries. The latest report found that it doesn’t tell surviving spouses that they can apply for survivor’s benefits before age 70 and delay receipt of […]

Stock Market Bubbles – The Tulip Mania Revised

February 21, 2018

Most people who’ve done any reading on investing have come across the Dutch Tulip Bulb Mania of the 1630s. It often is considered to be the first financial bubble and the classic example of manias, financial delusions, and other mental mistakes. This article says that everything we’ve been told about the tulip mania is wrong. […]

The Inevitability of Lower Stock Market Returns

January 18, 2018

To earn decent investment returns in the future, you’re going to have to diversify out of equities. The Philosophical Economist is back with a long article going into great detail to explain why most pension funds aren’t going to be able to achieve the 7.5% annual investment return that’s baked into their actuarial assumptions. Keep […]

Byron Wein Surveys the World – 8 Important Stock Market Indicators

December 4, 2017

In his latest monthly commentary, the Blackstone economic analyst reports on his recent travels around the globe and review of the economic data. He’s generally positive for both the U.S. and most other countries. There aren’t too many specific investment ideas in this essay, only a detailed commentary on the economic and political situations in […]

What Could Go Wrong with the Stock Market?

November 29, 2017

Bloomberg interviewed a number of long-time professional investors and asked them what worries them. Things are going well now, but another crash is possible. Each identifies the factor they think could cause another deep dive in the markets. One of Tad Rivelle’s favorite charts shows the widening gap between the value of U.S. household assets and […]

Who Invests in Stocks? Stock Market Participation

November 28, 2017

It’s generally accepted that people aren’t equally invested in the stock markets. It’s usually accepted that higher income individuals have a higher percentage of their net worth in stocks than lower income individuals. Did you know that stock market participation also varies by state? The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis published a paper showing […]


Should You Opt for Social Security Lump Sum Retirement Benefits?

August 25, 2017

Do you know there’s an option to receive up to six months of benefits in a lump sum when initiating Social Security retirement benefits? Not many people do, until they apply for benefits. While a nice option, too many people are surprised by it, and don’t receive the benefit package that’s best for them because […]


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