Some thoughts as the Dow reaches 20,000


A 20,000 Dow – What does it mean? As with any milestone number, the Dow approaching 20,000 has many people excited but not sure what to do.  Should we buy in now because the stock market will go higher?  Or should we take gains to free up cash in case the market declines?  The simplest […]

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Why ‘annuity’ is not always a dirty word


Financial independence means living the lifestyle you choose without fear of running out of money. Whether to work becomes a choice, rather than an obligation. Activity (travel, hobbies, volunteering) does too. Worst case from a lifestyle point of view is dying too soon. From a purely financial point of view, it’s living too long. One […]

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Don’t Give up on Small Caps


Don’t feel sorry for the punished small-company stocks Small stocks have been punished this year. As of Oct. 10, the S&P 600 SmallCap Index was down 8.21% since Jan. 1. In contrast, over the same period the S&P 500 Index of large-cap stocks was ahead by 3.13%.. We view this as a potential buying opportunity […]

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How to Add a Real Asset to your Portfolio


Real estate investments should have a presence of some size in nearly everyone’s portfolio. As an asset class, real estate offers an alternative to U.S. and foreign developed stock markets. It’s considered to be a cyclical asset class, like stocks, in that its values rise and fall with the growth of the economy. Like bonds, […]

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Keeping Investment Costs Down Pays


It’s an indisputable fact in investing: If you can keep down your costs, you’ll have more in your pocket in the long run. Lower costs generally mean better returns. There are lots of ways investors pay for the “privilege” of buying and holding investments. And although there is no way to eliminate all investing costs, […]

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Mutual funds ban frequent traders


So you think mutual funds aren’t serious about stopping frequent traders from messing with their products? Money Magazine reported recently that T. Rowe Price had blocked approximately 1,300 American Airlines employees from trading in their retirement plan mutual funds due to excessive buying and selling. Some employees were banned forever. Money said that Southwest Airlines […]

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Know Your Risks


Risk is the chance that you won’t be able to meet your financial goals or that you’ll have to recalibrate your goals because your investment comes up short. Investors face many forms of risk depending on the kinds of investments they choose. Market, industry, and company risk: General market fluctuations can affect securities trading in […]

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Money for nothing?


The Wall Street Journal reports today (July 3) on a study that finds an inverse relationship between investment results of  pension funds paying high fees and those paying low fees. The 10 state pension funds paying the highest fees had a median five-year annualized return of 1.34%. The 10 paying the lowest fees had an […]

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Bond perspective


So the bond market is selling off. No one should be  surprised. Market value of the Barclay’s U.S. Aggregate Bond Index was down 3.01% year-to-date through June 25. At the same time, the yield on the index rose 0.78 percentage point – because when prices decline, yields rise. Those who hold bonds of any flavor […]

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Chasing your tail


How can you get ahead of the market with all this volatility? Down 165, then up 46, then down 110. I couldn’t decide whether to buy BP on crude oil’s rise, or sell Treasuries after Rusty the Red Panda went missing from the National Zoo. So I I’ll just sit tight and keep my eye […]

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