On Tripods

By | 2017-07-17T16:45:42+00:00 July 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, [...]

The Ethics of Nudging

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:18+00:00 May 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. [...]

Retirement Dreams

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:33+00:00 December 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 [...]

Retiring the Experts

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:05+00:00 April 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 [...]

Riding the Tiger

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:05+00:00 April 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, [...]

Retiring On Snacks

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:39+00:00 August 28th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Can we retire on spare change? Photo: Skeeze. Source: Pixabay It’s worth thinking about. After all, most of us have coins in our pockets after running errands or grabbing a cup of coffee. What would happen if we invested that money, instead of losing it in the couch? The short answer is, it depends. It depends on how much we save, how long save, and what the return is. So let’s assume you’re a 50-something who has about $2 of loose change each workday--$10 [...]

Working, Saving, Retiring

By | 2017-07-17T12:23:03+00:00 February 23rd, 2015|Global Market Update|

Are you ready for retirement? Source: International Living Over half of us aren’t. Ultra-low interest rates, Social Security’s rising age for full benefits, and stricter rules on mortgages have combined to make it extremely difficult for families to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living. […]

Saving the Dream

By | 2017-07-17T12:23:08+00:00 December 30th, 2014|Global Market Update|

Why is it so hard to save? Source: US Dept of Interior We often hear that there is a retirement crisis in this country. 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 [...]

Inflation Nation?

By | 2014-05-07T09:53:54+00:00 May 7th, 2014|Global Market Update|

The price of a mid-life crisis just went up. Mazda is releasing a 25th-anniversary edition of its Miata MX-5. The price: $32 thousand. Admittedly, the special-edition roadster is a far cry from the bare-bones model they brought out in 1989. It has leather seats, a hand-painted dash, and a power-retractable hard-top. Also, the car comes with a special-edition Swiss watch. But still, $32 thousand is a lot more than the initial sticker price of $14 thousand when the model debuted. Or maybe not. The [...]

Growing Old, Growing Smart?

By | 2013-12-15T22:02:12+00:00 December 15th, 2013|Global Market Update|

Are our employers responsible when we mess up? That’s the question before the Supreme Court in a dispute between Fifth Third Bank and some of its employees. The workers invested in the company’s 401(k) program. Like many companies, Fifth Third had lots of options—stocks, bonds, cash, and company stock. During the Financial Crisis, Fifth Third’s stock fell 97%--from $40 per share in June of 2007 to a dollar in February of 2009. Since then, the stock has come back about half way, to $20. [...]