Getting There

By |2019-06-20T05:59:53-05:00June 20th, 2019|Global Market Update|

What do you want to do when you retire? Photo: Lukas Taleb. Source: Picjumbo. Lots of folks have plans for what we want to do when we retire. It could be spending time with children, it could be travel, it might be settling into that dream-cottage by the lake or beach. While it’s good to have dreams, it’s just as important to have plans. And those plans need to be based on a realistic assessment of who we are, not the gauzy self-portraits we [...]

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Apocalypse Later

By |2018-09-03T08:32:21-05:00September 3rd, 2018|Global Market Update|

Sometimes the world doesn’t end. Source: Pixabay. A few years ago, the financial world was buzzing about “robo-advisors.” These web sites and smartphone apps were going to revolutionize investing and wealth management. The services start with a set of interview questions, then make investment allocations into various Exchange Traded Funds. By using algorithms to provide rule-based recommendations using low-cost index funds, their hope was to provide inexpensive advice with low account minimums. The project began in the US, with a couple of independent startups. [...]

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On Target?

By |2018-07-26T08:16:03-05:00July 26th, 2018|Global Market Update|

What are target date funds? Photo: Xavier Navarro. Source: US Air Force Target date funds are all the rage when it comes to retirement planning. They have a certain targeted retirement date in their name, and then gradually adjust their asset allocation as that date approaches. So, for example, a 2040 retirement fund is currently 85% stocks and 15% bonds, while a 2025 fund could be 50% stocks and 50% bonds. When Vanguard first began offering the funds back in 2005, only 2% of [...]

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Coffee Cup Retirement

By |2018-04-12T06:54:57-05:00April 12th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Can we retire on our latte’s? Photo: Engin Akyurt. Source: Pixabay You’ve heard the advice: “Put enough aside when you’re in your 20s, and you can have retire with millions by the time you turn 60. Just give up your daily latte, and you, too, can be a millionaire.” But let’s do the math. Suppose we give up that daily latte and save $5 per day. If we invest that in the stock market at the long-run return, after inflation return, we’ll end up [...]

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Getting Savings Right

By |2017-12-15T06:33:58-05:00December 15th, 2017|Global Market Update|

Why is it so hard to save? Photo: GeorgHH. Source: Wikipedia We often hear that there is a retirement crisis in this country. People aren’t saving enough today to fund their retirements tomorrow. Our national savings has declined from 10% in the 1980s to around 2.5% now. And if you save 2.5% of your salary for 40 years and put it in the bank, by the time you retire you’ll have set aside an amount equal to your salary. That’s not enough to retire, [...]

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On Tripods

By |2017-07-17T16:45:42-05:00July 11th, 2017|Global Market Update|

Tripods are stable. Photo: Eriger. Source: Pixabay They allow us to keep things steady. Their three legs lean upon each other making the entire structure more stable than any one leg could be. We use tripods in photography, weapons, surveying, and for offshore wind turbines – anywhere we don’t want things shifting around. Tripods are often used as metaphors, as well, for any area where we need constancy. Our military depends on a nuclear triad: missiles, bombers, and submarines. English teachers use grammar, literature, [...]

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The Ethics of Nudging

By |2017-07-17T12:21:18-05:00May 24th, 2017|Global Market Update|

Is it ethical to nudge people? Photo: Polar Cruises. Source: Wikipedia “Nudging” is all the rage. A nudge is structuring someone’s choice so they make the “right” decision. For example, putting fruit at eye-level in a cafeteria is a “nudge” towards healthy eating. Banning junk food and sugary sodas is not. That’s coercion. Participating in Social Security – at least paying into it – isn’t a nudge, it’s part of our Federal tax system. But the default settings on a 401(k) plan are nudges. [...]

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Retirement Dreams

By |2017-07-17T12:21:33-05:00December 29th, 2016|Global Market Update|

Why is saving for retirement so hard? Photo: Ahborson. Source: Morguefile We often hear that there is a saving crisis. People don’t save enough today to fund their retirement tomorrow. And with the national savings rate somewhere around 5%, that seems pretty accurate. After all, if you save 5% of your salary for 40 years—and just put it in the bank—by the time you retire you’ll have only two times your salary socked away. If you spend 5% of your savings every year in [...]

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Retiring the Experts

By |2017-07-17T12:22:05-05:00April 7th, 2016|Global Market Update|

Why don’t people save enough? Photo: Dika Seva. Source: Unsplash You’ve heard the advice: “Put enough aside when you’re in your 20s, and you can have millions by the time you’re 60. Just stop drinking a latte, and you, too, can be a millionaire.” Okay, let’s do the math. Suppose you give up that latte and save $5 four days per week—you can have one latte. And let’s assume you do that 50 weeks out of the year. That’s $1,000. If you do this [...]

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Riding the Tiger

By |2017-07-17T12:22:05-05:00April 6th, 2016|Global Market Update|

Whatever happened to Tiger Woods? Photo: Tom Hipps. Source: US Army I’ve written about Tiger before. The golfer has been truly phenomenal. In 1997, at age 21, he became the youngest golfer ever to win The Masters at Augusta National in Georgia. His driving, his short game, his putting—all came together, again and again, to deliver win after win. Those who saw him play were convinced they were seeing something historic: a combination of skills and strength not likely to be seen again. Tiger, [...]

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