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Archive for April, 2008

Vanguard’s Daily Market Update

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008, by

Regular readers know by now what a skinflint and cheapskate I am with regard to investment fees. Like all market bargain hunters, I find that most roads eventually take you to the Vanguard family of no-load funds. Vanguard was slow to pony up to the bar with ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) but they are catching […]

Does the Euro have a Future?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008, by

It wasn’t that long ago that the Euro lacked even parity with the dollar. Few remember that the Euro debuted at $1.18 in 1999, then fell to an all-time low of $0.83 in October of 2000, before climbing steadily to it’s current all time high earlier this month of $1.60. I have no expertise in […]

Front Running

Monday, April 28th, 2008, by

This does not refer to who the leading presidential candidate may now be. This is an insider investment scam as defined by Wikipedia: “Front running is the illegal practice of a stock broker executing orders on a security for their own account (and thus affecting prices) before filling orders previously submitted by their customers. After […]

Freedom for the 401-K

Friday, April 25th, 2008, by

We have good news…and bad…about the 401K. What’s Good? The corporate defined benefit pension plan is on the list of endangered and threatened species. Something had to take its place. And now we have the ubiquitous 401K, and its alphanumeric cousins, the 403B, and 457 non-profit and public sector defined contribution plans. And the 529 […]

What Can You Do with $1,000?

Thursday, April 24th, 2008, by

After beating up on Schwab for the miserable performance of their ultra short bond fund in our previous posting, we need to applaud their stepping up to the plate to give small investors a place at the table. I refer to the best kept secret in the mutual fund industry. While most funds require minimums […]

Fixing Fixed Income

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008, by

Two recent back-to-back articles in the WSJ highlight both the peril and the promise of fixed income investments. April 11 (c1) brought us the alarming article “Schwab Fund Pitched Safety, Courted Danger“. It recorded the sickening slide in what had been one of Schwab’s most successful offerings. The culprit was, of course, mortgage backed securities. […]

Cargo Cult

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008, by

Take a drive through your neighborhood some evening, after everyone gets home from their commute. Have you noticed how many cars will no longer fit in the garage? We are drowning in our material possessions, and the family garage has now become your very own single or double stall mini-storage unit. Of course, the overflow […]

Art Auction Angst

Monday, April 21st, 2008, by

Full disclosure, first. I don’t know enough about fine art to tell a Monet from a Manet. But I know what I like. I’d like to think of my invested capital serving societal needs. Our diversified global equity funds help in some minute way to fund the needs of businesses comprising the global economy. Our […]