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The Happiness Dilemma
Princeton professor Angus Deaton studies the impact of the financial crisis on Americans state of mind. The good news? We may be unhappier than we should be. We all know that the financial crisis has been difficult, and I imagine its made most of us unhappy at various times. 60% of American households saw their wealth decline between 2007 and 2009. Deaton wanted to examine more precisely the relationship between the crisis and American happiness-self-reported subjective well-being, or SWB. Which parts of the crisis hit people the hardest?
Rewriting the 4% Rule
Is there a safer and simpler way to plan retirement distributions? If youve saved more than you need for retirement and can live on 3% plus an inflation adjustment each year, you have the past century of data on your side suggesting that your nest egg will not outlast you. For most of us though, this is an unrealistic drawdown rate, so you will likely need some professional financial planning help to map out a withdrawal plan that meets your retirement goals. Like all rules that try to simplify complex questions, 4% is just thata number, which may or may not be your number.
Dividend Growth Investing: Understanding style and stock selection risks
In my last post on the resurgent popularity of dividend investing, I talked about why the strategy of buying dividend aristocrats has surged in popularity over the past decade. This time Id like to explore the challenges of picking individual stocks and the risk in shunning growth for value. First, remember that not all dividend stocks are created equal. Second, do you really want to be in the stock-picking business?
Dividend Growth: Volatile markets revive an old investing strategy
Lately I've been hearing a lot about the new dividend growth strategy: Simply buy the right blue chip stocks featuring rising dividends and youll be on the path to a more secure retirement. With regular headlines like Top 20 High Yielding Dividend Aristocrats and 10 Dividend-Paying Blue Chips for Your Parents, its no wonder Im hearing people at dinner parties buzzing about Coke (KO), J&J (JNJ) and P&G (PG) in a way that reminds me of my grandparents stacking up their stock certificates to keep up with dividend checks from these venerable value giants.
A Private Matter: Income ETFs
As with all things in investing, theres no free lunch in higher yields; seeking higher returns means taking on higher levels of risk. Depending on your goals, time horizon and view of the macro economy, you may choose to take those risks but its important even given the understandable desire to generate income during a challenging market not to forget that theyre there.
What a (Cash) Drag: Institutional Investors and ETF Cash Equitization
At first glance, cash equitization using an ETF is pretty straightforward. As opposed to carrying a significant cash position, an investor simply selects an ETF that closely approximates their target risk and asset class exposure to remain invested in the market. Typically institutional investors will implement a cash equitization strategy when cash is on the sidelines and waiting to be put to work. For example, at times large institutional clients are transitioning between managers. Rather than risking underperformance through cash drag they will invest in an ETF as an interim solution.
Cash Can Be Risky, Too
Young investors who keep their money in cash may think theyre playing it safe, but the strategy could cost them in the long run. A recent Bank of America-Merrill Lynch survey found that almost half (47%) of 1 ,000 affluent Americansdefined by Merrill as Americans with investable assets in excess of $250, 000describe themselves as conservative investors, meaning that they favored low to moderate risk investments intended to deliver modest but steady gains. Among young investors aged 18 to 34, that number soared to 59 percent. (As compared to 41% among investors aged 35-64.)
IRA Ins and Outs
Which investments should you keep inside an IRA and which outside? Consider these guidelines. In general, I try to put tax inefficient investments in my IRA. It?s probably easier to describe tax efficient investments than it is to do the opposite. Two good examples of tax efficient investments are municipal bonds and most index ETFs. In the case of municipal bonds, you generally avoid paying federal income tax on the income and in some cases avoid paying state tax as well. In the case of most USequity index ETFs, they have had a good track record of paying minimal capital gains distributions.
Tax Gain Harvesting: Don?t Forget about 0% on Cap Gains and Qualified Dividends
When it comes to paying taxes on your investments, it doesn?t get much better than zero. Near the end of each year, we tend to talk a lot about tax lost harvesting. It?s a popular use of ETFs, where an investor sells an underperforming stock or fund at a loss, buys an ETF with a similar exposure and risk profile, and holds the ETF for the 30 day ?wash sale? period during which they?re prohibited from re-purchasing the original security in order to claim the loss for tax purposes. The strategy is designed to capture the capital loss and possibly lower taxes for the year.
What?s Gold Really Worth?
Determining an exact value for gold isn?t easy?but the pressure to do so is diminished by the fact that gold shouldn?t be a short-term investment. The drop in silver?s price earlier this month suggested that some major market players had decided that silver had risen far above a reasonable valuation. In the aftermath, some writers argued that the price drop of about 27% for the week of May 2nd was a reasonable correction. Since some investors still link gold and silver some market observers and gold investors wondered if gold, down about 4 percent last week, was also due to plummet.
In Good Company ? Institutional ETF Usage Trends
More institutional investors are making ETFs part of their portfolio strategy, and that?s good news for retail investors. With many innovations, institutional investors are often the first in. Later the retail investors follow. ETFs, however, have shown a slightly different pattern. After 1993, when the first ETF was introduced in this country, ETFs were primarily of interest to institutional investors. At first, their main use was as a place to hold cash before investing in a new asset class, but institutions soon began using them for other purposes, such as tactical allocations and hedges.
Central Banks and Gold: Still Net Buyers
There are a number of reasons why gold and silver don?t move in concert, but one notable reason is the purchasing of gold by central banks. In 2010, for the first time in 20 years, the world?s central banks bought more gold than they sold, perhaps a reflection of anxieties following the global economic crisis and a sense of gold?s historical reputation as a repository of value. Over the past three years, Europe?s central banks really haven?t sold any gold at all; between December 2010 and February 2011, they collectively sold a whopping .2 tons of their gold, according to a recent report.
End of Debate | Research Shows ETF Usage Growing
It?s time to end the debate about whether adoption of exchange-traded funds is on the rise. According to new reports from kasina and Cerulli Associates, advisors? use of ETFs is growing. In a March 2011 survey from kasina and Horsesmouth?s FA Vision, a service providing data about advisors, about three-fourths of advisors said they use ETFs in their client portfolios and more than half (56%) said their usage of ETFs increased in the past year. The results are based on 768 responses from advisors across channels and Hari Krishnaswami, FA Vision Product Manager, shared them with us.
Gold or Goldilocks?
After a roller coaster January, gold prices have been soaring to nominal highs again of late. Given the recent rise in price, I thought this would be a good time to revisit the case for having a small amount of gold in your portfolio. Investors flocked to gold in 2009 and 2010 because of worldwide concern over the stability of the financial system, and as a result the precious metal?s price skyrocketed, passing $1400 an ounce. Last month, Barron?s warned its readers that the gold rush is over. Suggesting investors were likely to search for assets with greater expected returns than gold.
14 results found.