Category: Other

Two Simple Rules for Safely Managing Debt

I think it’s fair to say that we may be approaching another debt crisis in the U.S. According to the New York Federal Reserve, as of Q1 2018 credit card debt stood at $792 billion, auto loan debt at $1,188 billion, student loan debt at $1,453 billion, and mortgage debt at a whopping $8,982 billion…
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What Is Your Advisor Really Costing You?

In a recent article in Morningstar, John Rekenthaler talked about how Ameriprise and other brokerages/custodians/advisors offer funds based on how much revenue they get from the fund companies.  These so-called revenue-sharing agreements, he argues, are a way for the brokerages to hide the income they are actually earning from the advice they are providing to…
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More Financial Protection For Seniors

Since 2005 the population of individuals aged 65 and over in the U.S. increased from 36 million to over 50 million.  It’s expected to double to nearly 100 million by 2060.  When you take into account the fact that these seniors own over 75% of all financial assets (according to the Securities & Exchange Commission),…
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Personal Financial Satisfaction Near High

Some positive data about Americans’ personal finances comes to us from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). They have been reporting a Personal Financial Satisfaction Index on a quarterly basis since 2004. In spite of its name, though, this index is not based on a survey or poll.  It is rather a calculation based on…
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Subprime Auto Loans Reach New Highs

Remember the billions of dollars of poorly-vetted mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that helped destroy Lehman Brothers and numerous banks (not to mention the world economy) in 2008? This time it’s auto loan-backed securities (ABS) that are setting records.  According to Bloomberg Businessweek, $26 billion in subprime ABS bonds were sold in 2016, surpassing the peak reached…
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How Well Did You Predict 2016?

Now that the year is almost behind us, let’s turn to my favorite topic, predicting the future.  As usual, there were a number of events that occurred at various times during the year, the results of which (1) were completely missed by the media and (2) went totally counter to investor expectations.  In case you’ve…
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