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Archive for June, 2008

SPAC and spin.

Thursday, June 19th, 2008, by

Is there anything worse than watching your carefully screened investment go into the tank? Well, now that you mention it… How about just handing over a bundle of money to the pirates of Wall Street with no clear goal or objective or specific investment in mind. If you have access to their archives, check out […]

Build a Fixed Income Ladder in 2 Steps

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008, by

Well, now that the Feds have ratcheted interest rates down, what’s the poor fixed income investor going to do? I’m less keen on I-Bonds as I’ve been in previous posts. For the first time in the 10-year history of the I-Bond, the government will pay only the inflation premium and not even the nominal (stated) […]

Death and Taxes

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008, by

Warning to wealthy seniors: Don’t go on any hunting trips with your adult kids anytime in 2010! They’re after bigger game than usual that year. Also, pass up the gift pass they tuck into your Christmas Stocking in 2009 for your free skydiving or scuba lessons. And double-check to make sure the brake lines on […]

Biggest and Best Managed Funds

Monday, June 16th, 2008, by

Sometimes everything you know is wrong. Everyone knows that small funds, being more nimble and able to stake out smaller positions are more adroit at exploiting market opportunities. Everyone knows that with size, lumbering funds are pitiful giants who must take weeks or even months to unwind their huge positions. The big funds are derided […]

Build a Do-it-Yourself Annuity in 2 Easy Steps

Friday, June 13th, 2008, by

You’d think after all my rants and tirades that I hold all annuities in contempt. No. Just the high fee, high pressure model, with all the pricey riders that most likely will never be utilized. I hate the way annuities are marketed to unsuspecting and unsophisticated seniors, and the lousy seven year lockups (the back […]

Brokers Behaving Badly…the series continues.

Thursday, June 12th, 2008, by

In the context of all the damage that the investment/retirement complex can wreak on their captive investors, what follows would scarcely move the needle. I refer to the industry’s common practice of distributing ghost-written newsletters to their clients. FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) opines that the practice “appears to raise serious questions about whether […]

Realtor Cartel Cracks

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008, by

The mother of all price fixing cartels has just been busted. Now, if only consumers can alter their slothful home selling habits, we will all benefit. Under pressure from the Justice Department, the National Association of Realtors reached a settlement that will allow Internet based discount brokers to have access to all home listings. (Wall […]

Morgan Stanley Whistleblower

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008, by

Three cheers for former Morgan Stanley broker Dana de Windt. As reported in the Wall Street Journal (5/24/08, page B1), de Windt waged a four year battle against the mighty firm, not from the sidelines, but from the belly of the beast, while employed as a top producing broker at Morgan Stanley. The focus was […]