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Archive for June, 2008

Means Testing gets Meaner Part I

Monday, June 30th, 2008, by

We are a nation of cynics and skeptics on the topic of entitlement benefits. Ask the Gen-X or Millennials in your family if they will count on Social Security when they reach retirement age. Not a chance. It’s not as simple as all that. Yes, there will be a benefit called Social Security. No, it […]

Fixed Income Strategy

Friday, June 27th, 2008, by

We are now eight months from the market highs reached in October, and may in fact be testing the bottom we reached in March. In the frantic 24/7 world we inhabit, patience is in short supply. This is when the typical hapless investor throws in the towel, in order to fulfill their manifest destiny to […]

Credit Card Abuse

Thursday, June 26th, 2008, by

Like many observers, I predicted that the major reforms in bankruptcy law in 2005 would make it difficult, if not impossible, for most consumers to walk away from their credit card debt. Wrong. The intent of the new law was to force consumers into debt restructuring and repayment, and not wanton and wholesale charge-offs…behavior exacerbated […]

Swept away…by brokerage sweep accounts

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008, by

It’s not only the airlines that are nickling and diming us by taking away the free peanuts. It wasn’t that long ago that your brokerage account had a “sweep”feature, that would vacuum up any loose cash at the end of the trading day and automatically deposit the funds into a constant dollar, market yield, money […]

Posted on Carnival of Financial Planning – June 23 Edition

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008, by

Our 6/13/2008 post on Building a Do-It-Yourself Annuity in 2 Easy Steps is included in this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance, edition #158, the Vampire Slaying Edition. Stop by, and check out the other informative articles in the carnival. There are two dealing with the issue of frugality versus stealing, information about target retirement funds, […]

Adding Insult to Injury

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008, by

It would be a comfort to think that when you’ve been wiped out as a result of fraud, that the meter would stop when it hits zero. You wish. You may have caught the scandal du jour when an alleged hedge fund manager named Kirk Wright ran a classic Ponzi type scam disguised as a […]

Averaging Down

Monday, June 23rd, 2008, by

No. We’re not talking about the SATs. Although that’s a topic worth revisiting at a future date. This is the pernicious practice whereby an investor who has made a bad decision compounds the error by chasing the stock as it falls in value. In less refined circles, this would be known as “throwing good money […]

Experimenting with Margin Trading

Friday, June 20th, 2008, by

Sometimes you just want to be bad to the bone. Maybe it’s the unending discipline of systematic savings and investment and delayed gratification. You can only be thoroughly virtuous up to a point. And then you just wanna let it rip to see what happens. I know the feeling. Too well. Rather than let it […]