Archive for the
‘Investment’ Category

Defaults Down the Road When it comes to municipal finances, we may have entered the calm before the storm.  You can go to the MuniNet Guide, which describes itself as the “hub for state, local and municipal research,” and find detailed historical statistics on the bankruptcies of small municipal utilities and special purpose districts, cities, […]

Flattening Curve The best indicator of a future recession is not perfect, and doesn’t provide an exact time or date, but economists have found that an inverted yield curve can be a warning sign of a downturn to come. A what?  The yield curve is a map of the yield of bonds from very short […]

The Cost of Waiting The median retirement portfolio account balance for persons age 56-61 is just $25,000—which is obviously not enough for a healthy retirement, and suggests that many Americans followed less-than-healthy savings habits. In fact, this amount could have been accumulated simply by saving $6 a month in a 60/40 portfolio from 1980 to […]

2018 First Quarter Market Report Is the bull market finally over? For the first time in nine calendar quarters, the U.S. investment markets delivered a negative overall return. It was only a slight decline, but the decline reminds us that markets can and do go down from time to time. After starting the year strong, […]

Crytpo-Crash Last year, it was hard to turn on your computer without reading about the dramatic rise in cryptocurrency values, or see advertisements for ways that you, too, could participate in this get-rich-quick opportunity to buy virtual money that is backed by no government on Earth. It’s almost always the case that when an investment […]

The History of Bond Rates—Past as Prologue? Although stocks get the most attention, bonds are significant contributors, both to your total return on your portfolio, and also to the prices of every other investment. Bonds compete with stocks and real estate for investment dollars; when their yields are high, it causes a shift in demand […]

Sunny Weather Forecast Economists and traders pay a lot of attention to something that probably doesn’t keep you up at night: the FOMC Minutes, or, in English, the summary of the discussion among decision-makers on the Federal Reserve Board, known as the Federal Open Market Committee. What do they discuss? The health of the U.S. […]

 Worker Wealth Decline You hear a lot about the so-called “trickle-down effect” that lower corporate taxes will trigger, and also a lot about the decline in wealth of the middle class of American workers over the years. A recent Harvard Business School report suggests that there HAS been an erosion in the income of American […]

False Visions of the Future The financial experts know a lot more about the markets and how the markets will perform in the future than the ordinary rest of us. Right? As it turns out, the predictions made by financial experts are no better than those made by gypsies looking into crystal balls, soothsayers gazing […]

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