Interest Rate Debate Hinges on 3 Factors

The Federal Reserve did not raise interest rates in September. Will they in October?

The U.S. Federal Reserve decided against raising the federal funds rate at its latest meeting in September, extending its zero interest rate policy and ramping up the debate about what it will take for the Fed to act. Disagreements in 3 areas explain the Fed’s caution. The most crucial and most recent influence on the… 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

Tax-Advantaged, Tax-Free, and Tax-Deferred? Oh my.

Tax-Advantaged, Tax-Free, and Tax-Deferred Investments: Know the Difference to Benefit Your Investment Portfolio

Proper diversification, low expenses and consistent investing are some of the keys to long-term financial success, but that’s only part of the picture. Large portfolios can generate large taxes. Keeping what you earn is critical for maximizing your investments. Understanding the big three—tax-advantaged, tax-free, and tax-deferred—is the key to lower overall taxes. Tax-Advantaged While the… 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

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

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

The Challenge of Long-Term Income: Part I

Geoff Considine

Portfolio Income: The Trouble With Treasury Bonds The current economic environment is making it very hard for investors to generate reasonable levels of income through traditional means such as bond ladders.  While it is always dangerous to suggest that ‘it’s different this time,’ I believe that we are facing some unprecedented conditions that require new… Read More

The Biggest Unknown in Financial Planning

Geoff Considine

In a recent blog post, I reviewed a new book on the future of the Equity Risk Premium (ERP).  For those who are not familiar with the ERP, it is the additional return that investors expect to receive for bearing the risk of owning company stock vs. owning a low-risk asset like government bonds.  As… Read More

Risk, Return and Low Beta Stocks

Geoff Considine

My article in last week’s Advisor Perspectives titled, “The Greatest Anomaly in Finance: Understanding and Exploiting the Outperformance of Low-Beta Stocks,” explores what the findings of a 2011 paper published in the Financial Analysts Journal called “the greatest anomaly in finance.”  The issue at hand is one that I have written about in a number… Read More