Monthly Insights

"Ideas shape the course of history." -John Maynard Keynes

August 2015 Monthly Insight: The Viability of Social Security

Posted by on Saturday, August 15th, 2015 in Monthly Insights, Personal Finance, Retirement | 0 comments

Social Security offers U.S. Government-guaranteed, inflation-adjusted lifetime income.  Having such a guaranteed income is of great importance to most retirees, and it’s important to understand how timing and claiming decisions for Social Security can have an impact on the strategy you employ for drawing from other retirement assets.  Just as you evaluate the investments you hold in your retirement portfolio, you should also review the viability of your Social Security.  Each year, the Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees reports to...

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July 2015 Monthly Insight: The “Greek Tragedy” of Debt Default

Posted by on Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 in Investing, Market and Economic Updates, Monthly Insights | 0 comments

Over the last month, Don and I have watched with passive interest the long-running saga regarding the potential of Greece defaulting on its scheduled debt payment on June 30.  This “Greek tragedy” has actually been running since at least December 2009.  As a matter of fact, since Greece won its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1832, it has been in default or rescheduling its debt 51% of the time.  Last Tuesday, Greece defaulted and missed its scheduled €1.6 million payment.  Later, the International Monetary Fund and the...

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June 2015 Monthly Insight: Savings vs. Investing

Posted by on Monday, June 15th, 2015 in Investing, Monthly Insights, Personal Finance | 0 comments

One of the important tenets of financial and retirement planning is to strategically match your upcoming liabilities (such as college funding, a second home purchase, or retirement income) to assets in your savings or investment accounts.  Notice we mention two types of accounts, the savings account and the investment account.  It’s not necessary to have two distinct and separate accounts, but you should know that there is a difference between saving and investing.  Each is a distinct, yet flexible, strategy for covering future...

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April 2015 Monthly Insight: Takeaways from Warren Buffett’s Stellar 50-Year Track Record

Posted by on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 in Investing, Market and Economic Updates, Monthly Insights | 0 comments

What comes to mind when you hear the name Warren Buffett – investor, mutual fund manager, CEO, entrepreneur, stock picker, philanthropist, or billionaire? Or maybe something else comes to mind? Whatever you think, one thing is clear: he has made a lot of money investing over the years.  If you’re counting, Forbes’ 2015 ranking places his net worth at $72.7 billion, which makes him the third wealthiest person in the world behind Mexican telecom king Carlos Helu ($77.1 billion), and Bill Gates ($79.2 billion). Buffett’s success over the...

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March 2015 Monthly Insight: Maintaining the Course in Volatile Markets

Posted by on Sunday, March 15th, 2015 in Investing, Market and Economic Updates, Monthly Insights | 0 comments

Monday, March 9 is the sixth anniversary of the S&P 500 hitting bottom after dropping over 57% from peak-to-trough over the previous 17 months.  In other words, from October 2007 to March 2009 the market dropped 57% and then for no reason anyone can identify and at a time no one expected the fall ended.  Just like that, it was over.  On that day, the S&P 500 closed at 676.53.  The very next day, it was up 6.4%.  At the end of February this year, the S&P 500 closed at 2,104.50, up 211% from the March 2009 low. From the chart above,...

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