Harvard’s Michael Porter Shares His Economic Outlook

Geoff Considine

-+*Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter is a familiar name to almost anyone who has graduated from business school in the last twenty years or so.  He recently gave an interview on CNBC in which he shares his analysis of the U.S. economy.  Porter is best known for his work in competitive strategy, a field… Read More


An Alternative Approach for Drawing Income from Your Portfolio

Geoff Considine

-+*The question of how to safely generate income from a retirement portfolio is one of the most challenging in financial planning.  In the days when people had traditional pensions, their employers simply promised them a constant inflation-adjusted income for the duration of their retirements.  As we have moved away from traditional pensions and into self-directed… Read More


Sector Watch: Wine, Beer, and Spirits

Geoff Considine

-+*The stocks of companies that produce and distribute alcoholic beverages have dramatically out-performed the broader market both in recent years.  There are many factors that can lead to the relative out-performance of one sector.  Surprisingly, however, so-called ‘sin stocks,’ including those of companies that produce and distribute alcohol, have a long history of delivering high… Read More


The Challenge of Long-Term Income: Part II

Geoff Considine

-+*In Part I of this article, I explained why I have issues with the traditional idea that individuals should provide for their required level of retirement income (beyond what is provided by Social Security and any pensions) entirely with assets with zero risk of loss of principal (e.g. Treasury bonds).  In Part II, I discuss… Read More


Financial Products are Sold, Not Bought

Robert P. Seawright

-+*Critics of the financial services industry (often with good reason) frequently remind consumers that financial products are typically “sold” rather than “bought” and implore them not to fall into that trap.  The concept here is that financial products are “sold” — pushed upon a consuming public that doesn’t understand them or perhaps even want or need them.  Instead,… Read More


Emerging Market Indexing

Matthew Amster-Burton

-+*Let’s say you want to build your own stock market index fund based on the S&P 500. Easy: download a list of all the companies in the index–from 3M (MMM) to Zions Bancorp (ZION) and their market cap, and start investing. Every stock in the index will be easy to buy in whatever quantity you… Read More


The High Cost of the July 4th Cookout

Geoff Considine

-+*Many Americans will be feeling the effects of higher commodity prices this 4th of July. If you have been to the grocery store lately, you’ve probably done a double-take at the register as your outdoor grilling essentials are being scanned. Steak and ground beef prices are up almost 6% over the last 12 months and… Read More


What’s Driving the Price of Oil?

Geoff Considine

-+*Gas prices are not keeping Americans at home this Memorial Day weekend. AAA projects that 34.8 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this holiday weekend. Here at the Portfolioist, we thought the start of Memorial Day weekend would be a good time to re-examine what drives the price of oil. This article was first… Read More


What’s Driving the Price of Oil?

Geoff Considine

-+*There’s lot’s of talk right now about the price of oil and, particularly, gasoline.  Oil is trading at more than $104 per barrel and the national average price of gasoline at the pump is $3.80.  It looks as though the price of a gallon of gas will be a significant political topic for the election… Read More