The Retirement Channel

Money, Money Everywhere, Not an Asset to Buy

During the next two decades, an estimated 76 million baby boomers – the bulge of the Western population born between 1946 and 1964 – will begin the process of going from growing and accumulating earnings to retiring and distributing their wealth.


President Trump is expected to announce a revised tax cut plan soon. In the meantime, it’s worth revisiting how the sausage gets made in Washington. By law, tax code changes must originate in the House of Representatives, and the Senate will have its say.

5 Fairly Valued MLPs: Is the Dilution Worth the Yield and How Do You Value Them?

The 5 MLPs covered in this article offer yields ranging from 5.7% to 10.7%. Additionally, each of these MLPs appears reasonably valued given their high yields and prospects for growth. However, two of these MLPs are currently in the process of merging.

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Up 6K, Worse Than Forecast

Today's seasonally adjusted 244K new claims, up 6K from last week's revised number, was worse than the forecast of 241K.

We Are Growing Less Positive (But Not Negative) Toward Equities

Equity markets have increased since the U.S. elections for two principal reasons: optimism over a pro-growth legislative agenda from Donald Trump and improving U.S. and global economic and earnings growth.

The Big Four Economic Indicators: January Real Retail Sales

Note: With the release last week of January Retail Sales and the Consumer Price Index, we've updated this commentary to include the latest Real Retail Sales. Month-over-month nominal sales in January rose by 0.4% (0.36% to two decimals). Real Retail Sales, calculated with the seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index, declined 0.2% (0.19% to two decimals). The chart gives us a close look at the monthly data points in this series since the end of the last recession in mid-2009. The linear regression helps us identify variance from the trend.

Five Decades of Middle-Class Wages: January 2017 Update

We've updated this series to include last week's release of the Consumer Price Index as the deflator and the January monthly update. The latest hypothetical real (inflation-adjusted) annual earnings are at $36,691, down 13.7% from 44 years ago.

The Fatal Flaws In Your Financial Plan

Congratulations! If you are reading this article it is probably because you have money invested somewhere in the financial markets. That’s the good news. The bad news is the majority of you reading this article have probably NOT saved enough for retirement.

On My Radar: Blood in the Streets, Indeed

We sipped the QE juice and loved the taste. Now we’re full… the game has changed. The Fed had assets worth $858 billion on its books in the week ended August 1, 2007 just before the start of the financial crisis, and the same stood at $2.24 trillion at the end of 2009.

Should You Discuss Politics with Clients?

Has anyone asked you to comment on the current political scene and best ways to deal with what’s happening when your clients have very strong (and very vocal) opinions?

The Downside of Excessive Caution

As advisors, you counsel your clients about risk. But based on my experience, you don’t take enough risk. Your excessive caution is imperiling your business.

As Seen on TV: The Annuity Action Network

In the prior installment on this series, I exposed the deceptive marketing used to sell fixed-index annuities. Today I will look at a firm that purchases annuities from investors – the Annuity Action Network. It is a way for clients to borrow money at a high interest rate, but it may be an appropriate solution under certain circumstances.

How to Organize Your "Stuff"

When advisors ask me to help them set up systems for their business, I put on my professional organizer hat. One area that is always a big issue is paper – both the physical and electronic kind. Here’s a system to ensure you will easily find the information you want and always get to the tasks that are important.

Why European High-Yield ETFs Don’t Deliver

There’s value and opportunity in European high-yield bonds today. But if you’re considering using an exchange-traded fund (ETF) to tap into the market, you may want to think again.

The Big Four Economic Indicators: A January Slip in Industrial Production

Today's report on Industrial Production for January shows a month-over-month decrease of 0.3 percent (0.25 percent to two decimals), which was below the consensus of a 0.1 percent increase. The previous month was revised downward from 0.8 percent to 0.6 percent. Industrial Production peaked in November 2014, only one point higher than its pre-recession peak in November 2007. It has contracted for 16 of the last 25 months. The year-over-year change is 0.01 percent, virtually unchanged after last month's YoY increase after 15 consecutive months of YoY contraction.