Author: Artie

Is Active Fund Management Always Bad?

The debate between actively and passively managed equity mutual funds has raged for decades.  My position is that the only way that actively managed stock funds can outperform is either by fund managers picking winning stocks in advance or by timing market ups and downs, which requires the consistent ability to successfully predict the future.…
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Social Security Is Lagging Inflation

Social Security is one of the few retirement pensions whose annual payments increase over time based on actual inflation. Few other private or public pensions provide this valuable benefit. Neither do annuities. Unfortunately, the cost of goods and services that seniors predominantly face has collectively risen faster than the broader Consumer Price Index for Urban…
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How Will Inflation Affect You?

You’re probably at least somewhat familiar with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) measure of inflation. Considering that this metric is the fundamental driver of government programs ranging from the setting of short-term interest rates to Social Security’s cost of living increases, its importance in our lives cannot be overstated.…
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Can You Afford That Student Loan?

Most parents want their children to achieve at least a four-year bachelor’s degree from college. Partly it’s emotional: “My kid graduated from Stanford. What about yours?” But the bigger driver is more commonly the fear that without a college degree, their son or daughter will simply be unable to compete for the higher-paying jobs of…
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Is The Yield Curve Signaling a Recession?

You may have heard through the financial media that the U.S. Treasury yield curve has been flattening, portending a possible recession in the near-term. As of this writing the yield curve is at its flattest point since 2007.  Exactly what is the yield curve, and is it truly a good indicator of a future economic…
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Be Wary Of Government Claims These Days

Larry Kudlow, President Trump’s top economic advisor, announced that “the deficit… is coming down, and it’s coming down rapidly” in an interview on the Fox Business Network two weeks ago. He was on the show to promote the positive effects of the tax reduction law that was signed late last year. Unfortunately, his statement was…
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Are Stocks Overvalued Right Now?

“Are stocks overvalued right now?” is probably the second most common question I am asked these days. In the last year and a half the Dow reached a new high over 90 times. It’s understandable that investors are looking for some indicator to tell them in advance whether or not stocks are too expensive to…
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Two Simple Rules for Safely Managing Debt

I think it’s fair to say that we may be approaching another debt crisis in the U.S. According to the New York Federal Reserve, as of Q1 2018 credit card debt stood at $792 billion, auto loan debt at $1,188 billion, student loan debt at $1,453 billion, and mortgage debt at a whopping $8,982 billion…
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Why Is 65 the Default Retirement Age?

Have you ever wondered why retirement in the U.S. is considered to start at age 65? After all, there’s nothing sacrosanct about that particular age. Most people are capable of working well beyond 65, while many of those fortunate enough to have amassed sufficient wealth prior to reaching that milestone are happy to retire earlier…
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Financial Fraud Just Keeps On Coming

There seems to be no end to the creativity displayed by fraudsters attempting to fleece unsuspecting investors out of their savings.  I find it especially egregious when it’s targeted towards seniors and those who have a limited ability to recover.  Human nature can make it difficult for us to resist the apparent opportunity to reap…
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