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Archive for March, 2009

Individual Development Accounts

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009, by

Have you heard of these accounts before? Me neither. I’m surprised something as useful as this program seems to be has been flying under the radar…unheralded and no doubt under used The idea that the sparked creation of IDAs is both straightforward and obvious: Low and moderate income earning families have great difficulty in pooling […]

Deflation or Inflation?

Monday, March 30th, 2009, by

You could argue persuasively for both outcomes. So you might be interested in a survey of nearly 400 financial advisers conducted by Investment News (p.1, March 23-27 issue). Two out of three are convinced that inflation will characterize the economic environment over the next 12 months, while a stubborn 1/3 are predicting deflation. I see […]

R.I.P Money Market Funds

Friday, March 27th, 2009, by

Have you checked out your recent returns on your brokerage money market fund? You are in for a shock.  So called “prime” money market funds…those that have traditionally had the fattest yield, clock in at well under a half percent.  Treasury money market funds pay practically nothing…and many have closed their doors to new money. […]

When Bubbles Deflate

Thursday, March 26th, 2009, by

Finally…I found one upside to the downslide. Even when you totally mess up..you can always serve as a bad example to others. With both our equity and real estate markets in peril, let’s see how that worked the last time around. Everyone wants to compare the current crisis with the 1930’s depression, but we have […]

Use It *AND* Lose It?–the sequel

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009, by

Our March 12 post on this topic has generated some topics worth following up. Nothing in economics and personal finance is as complex as the dichotomy between owning and renting our housing. In response to Toli’s comments…I was gratified to learn that technology will help to relieve pressure on long commutes to the ‘burbs. We […]

Demotion to the Call Center

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009, by

Question–is it a negative or a positive that your stock broker no longer handles small accounts like yours? Answer–it’s probably the least of your worries…for now. The old breed of commissioned stock brokers was destined for the scrap heap in any event. There is now a frantic game of musical chairs underway, where too many […]

Econ 101

Monday, March 23rd, 2009, by

Not to sound like such a nagging scold…. But there is such a whopping disconnect between theory and reality that somebody has to call a foul on the Democratic majority in congress. It starts with a generation gap. It seems that the newer generation, including of course the President, tend to be more pragmatic and […]

Bracket Creep

Friday, March 20th, 2009, by

The latest….from the class warfare front. It’s policy now.  For single incomes above $200,000,  or couples above $250,000—taxes will rise steadily.  Not just taxes, but also a corresponding reduction in exemptions and other write-offs. Most notoriously, the sacrosanct mortgage interest deduction will be under attack, with those in the 35% and 39% brackets only allowed […]