Category Investments

Buy Facebook? You may already have!

When Facebook (FB) went public, several folks immediately asked if they should buy it.  My response was, uniformly, “no”.  It was not that I thought FaceBook was overvalued (I did), not that I thought the price was going to drop soon (I did – IPOs frequently go down in the short term, and a spectacularly […]

Malkiel: Buy Stocks, not Bonds

Burton Malkiel has been speaking up a lot lately, and with much the same message – repeated several times over the last few months (at least since an op-ed back in April).  While hitting on some of the same themes he’s hit on for 40 years (index funds, low costs, broad diversification, don’t time the […]

Ten most common mistakes

Totally worth reading. I’d have said exactly these same things and I tell them to clients all the time. So good I’m thinking of mailing this link in my next On The Spot email. http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/07/investors-10-most-common-mistakes/ A really great “top 10” list by Barry Ritholtz: Investors’ 10 most common mistakes I seriously recommend reading the whole […]

Real 10 year yields

From an article about adjusting assumptions for retirement withdrawal rates in a ‘yield-free’ world. http://www.advisorone.com/2012/06/27/retirement-in-a-yield-free-world?t=the-retiree     The author makes some important points about the rule-of-thumb that so many use for planning the level of withdrawals that’s “safe” from a given portfolio (or flipping it around, the level of savings that will be necessary to […]

BusinessWeek: 10 Strategies used by the ultra wealthy to avoid taxes

For all the silly bluster about the “Buffett rule” in Congress, the fact is that the vast majority of folks who earn a lot do pay a lot in taxes.  And the very well known exceptions – such as Buffett himself claiming to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary – are due to […]

Zvi Bodie, TIPs, Zero-Cost Collars and Equity Risks

Major piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, “Why Stocks are Riskier Than You Think” by Zvi Bodie and Rachelle Taqqu http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204795304577221052377253224.html?mod=googlenews_wsj (Of course, Bodie and Taqqu are also hoping that this article will lead a lot of people to buy their recent book, “Risk Less and Prosper”.  Bodie and Taqqu’s own retirement plan likely hinges […]

Savings Accounts

The current interest rate environment is weighing heavily on those who count on getting any kind of return on their cash and/or low-risk investments. Treasury bond yields are at historic lows, especially at the short end of the curve.  That means that the most cash-like treasury securities – the ones which mature the soonest and […]

Morningstar answers a reader’s question about UGMA accounts

http://news.morningstar.com/articlenet/article.aspx?id=537628 Question: I set up an UGMA for my daughter as a way to help save for college, but now I read that the money in the account could hurt her chances of getting financial aid. Can I cash out the account or move the money to a different type of college-savings plan? If you […]

Top 10 non-leveraged ETFs over the last year

I saw an article on a financial planning site pointing to the fact that 8 of the top 10 performing ETFs in 2011 were US Government Bond funds.  So I just did a quick double check via Morningstar’s ETF screener, though the screener doesn’t let me pick a specific year – it lets me do […]

Waggoner: What we learned from bonds’ victory

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/columnist/waggon/story/2012-01-05/stocks-bonds-diversification/52395986/1 Great column from John Waggoner in USA Today. The headline is a reference to the fact that over the last 1yr, 10yr, 20yr and 30ys periods, bonds (long term treasuries, mainly) have had higher total returns (with dividends all reinvested) than large-cap US stocks (mainly the S&P 500). Some takeaways: the selection of stocks […]