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

Income Investors Are Feeling the Squeeze

How Income Investors Can Manage Their Investment Portfolio in Today's Economic Environment

Investors have been finding it increasingly difficult to generate income in their investment portfolios. This is a problem that impacts many people who rely on portfolio income to live on or to supplement the income they receive from other sources, such as social security and pensions. When interest rates are higher, options for investment income are… Read More

Retirement Income and Systematic Withdrawals

Retirement Income and Systematic Withdrawals

There’s no shortage of articles about the process of accumulating wealth. We spend our working years deferring part of our incomes into retirement plans and establishing various investment strategies to grow and protect our assets. However, there’s less discussion about the process of distributing our money back out to ourselves in the most effective way… 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

REITs and the Rally of 2014

Geoff Considine

There have been a number of surprises for investors in 2014.  Bonds have markedly out-performed stocks for the year-to-date.  The S&P500 is up 2.4% since the start of 2014, as compared to the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index, which is up by 3.5%.  Even more striking, the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) is up… Read More

Low Interest Rates Through 2014 and Beyond

Geoff Considine

Ben Bernanke, in a speech on November 19th, made it very clear that the Fed is likely to hold interest rates low for an extended period of time.  This comes on the heels of similar comments by his likely successor at the Fed, Janet Yellen, during her confirmation hearings.  On top of this, inflation numbers… Read More

Sector Watch: Municipal Bonds

Geoff Considine

Municipal bonds are issued by states and municipalities and typically have tax advantages relative to other fixed income assets.  In general, income from muni bonds is tax exempt at the federal level and at the state level for investors living in the issuing state.  Municipal bonds have historically been favored by investors in high tax… 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