What Pension Plan Phase-Outs Mean for You

With the Pension Plan Becoming Extinct, How Can Investors Save for Retirement?

How’s your pension doing? If you answered, “great,” you probably belong to one of a few specific job sectors—or an upper age bracket. The more common answer these days is something other than “great.” Maybe your employer’s pension plan has been frozen, or has pushed early lump-sum payouts, or never existed in the first place…. Read More

Factoring Sequence Risk into Retirement Planning

Be sure to factor sequence risk into retirement planning.

When building your retirement portfolio, investing in a routine, systematic way can ensure that you purchase assets at random prices over time. So long as the market moves higher in the long run, any temporary declines, or even major corrections, will provide you with the chance to buy assets on sale. The same cannot be… Read More

Smart-Beta ETFs: Offering Headway or Hype?

Are Smart-Beta ETFs here to stay in investor's investment portfolios? Time will tell with these ETFs.

We have written in the past about new trends in the ETF marketplace and one of those trends is the emerging popularity of “smart-beta ETFs.” Smart-beta ETFs weight holdings by factors other than market cap—factors such as dividends or earnings—in an attempt to produce superior long-term results. According to the July, 2015 issue of ETF… Read More

Making Sense of Economic Data

Making sense of economic data provided by the government, markets, and media.

The Non-Farm Payroll Report. Crude inventories. The Federal Open Market Committee Minutes. If you aren’t an economist or passionately devoted to the financial media, you might have no clue what those are. But the reality is, if you’re an investor in the global marketplace and you own stocks and bonds, your money is likely reacting… Read More

3 Insights into the Millennial Investor

Millennial Investors and their Investing Strategies

Generation Y—also known as the Millennial Generation—refers to the population segment born between the early 1980s and late 1990s. Like most generational cadres, this demographic tends to have a different set of values and preferences than its predecessors, and research[1] indicates that these differences become especially clear when it comes to investing. Already, several themes… Read More

Will the Current European Economy Affect Your Investment Portfolio?

European Economy

Collectively, the European Union (EU) has the largest economy in the world as measured by gross domestic product (GDP). Last year the total value of all goods and services produced within the 28-member EU totaled 14.3 trillion euros, according to the International Monetary Fund.[1] But the European economy has been languishing, and due to its… Read More

How Bond Market Investors Cope in a Low-Rate Environment


It’s understandable that bond market investors might be frustrated at this point in time. Most already have lower total return expectations than stock market investors, which they accept in exchange for lower overall levels of risk and regular interest payments. However, the total return expectations within the bond market have become so low that investors… Read More

Oil, Markets, Volatility

Oil, Markets, Volatility

David R. Kotok

Sharply lower oil prices have occasioned a huge discussion about their impact. We see it play out daily in newspapers, on TV and radio, at websites, on blogs, and in market letters. The range of forecasts runs from one extreme to another. On one side, pundits predict a recession resulting from a US energy sector… Read More

Is the Fed Really “Stealing from Savers”?


Geoff Considine

In a recent article on MarketWatch, Chris Martenson asserts that the Fed’s low interest rate policy and quantitative easing in recent years is deliberately stealing from savers. This article has elicited a big response, with almost 800 comments and almost 2000 likes on Facebook. The key point of the article is that the Fed’s policy… Read More

How Much am I Paying in Investment Expenses?

Abstract Business Tip of the Dollar Iceberg.

Geoff Considine

This is the seventh installment in our series on how individual investors can assess their financial health. In my experience, I’ve found that many people have no idea how much they’re paying for the privilege of investing. And survey data supports my observations. Ignorance is not bliss. Analysis of investment expenses suggests that many people… Read More