Blog

Is Creating a Self-Directed Retirement Plan a Good Idea?

You may not be aware that you can utilize a retirement plan for investments other than stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.  There are numerous custodians that will help you take the money in your retirement plan and buy land, paintings, unregistered securities, or even self-finance a new franchise or business start-up.  And you get to…
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Whatever Happened to “Compromise?”

I never thought I’d find myself writing about politics, but a recent 60 Minutes interview highlighted the need for someone to speak out.  As I write this, the election is over, and things haven’t changed much.  The Democrats still control the White House and the Senate, and the Republicans still control the House.  Our country…
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Two Useful Indicators of Bond Market Liquidity

There are many indicators that provide clues as to the future performance of one or more capital market asset classes.  Unfortunately none are perfect, otherwise 2008 might not have turned out so ugly.  Today I’d like to explain two useful indicators that bond investors would do well to heed: LIBOR and the TED spread. LIBOR,…
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Are Your Children Putting Their Babysitting Earnings to Work?

I’ve written often about the importance of saving for retirement. And also about the value of starting as early as possible to maximize the compounding of your returns over time. Well, why not start saving as a child? With a little help from you, even your younger children can start a Roth IRA to shelter…
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Operating a Home Business: Is It Right For You?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that as of 2010 more than 18 million businesses are run primarily out of a home. That may actually be on the low side, given recent advances in mobile and wireless technology, as well as the cost-cutting realities of a low-growth economy. If you’re considering running a business…
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Leverage Is Not Your Friend

Jason Zweig, the noted Wall Street Journal columnist, noted recently that between the first and second quarters of 2012, the Federal Reserve’s measure of margin loans at brokerage firms rose 9%, to $161.8 billion, the highest level in nearly four years.  The high-water mark was $386 billion in August 2008—two weeks before the collapse of…
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