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Monthly Archives - September 2018

Early retirement may not be for everyone

Early Retirement Is All the Rage, But Is It the Right Choice for Everyone?

Read any financial news site today and it will be full of accounts of people who worked hard to retire early. Whereas most Americans hope to retire around 65 and think of retiring at 50 as retiring early, some of these accounts feature people who have retired as early as 35. It’s pretty impressive to think that people have the ability to do that, and it can leave those of us still in the workplace feeling just a little [...]


A Strong Stock Market Doesn’t Mean a Strong Economy

For decades stock markets have been viewed as proxies for the strength of the economy. The higher stock market indexes go, the stronger the economy is deemed to be. The most famous index, of course, is the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which in recent days has pushed back to record new highs. But while many people, President Trump included, view a strong stock market as an indicator of a strong economy, that isn’t really the case. In fact, that hasn’t [...]


The American Dream Is Becoming Less and Less Attainable for More and More Americans

We’re all familiar with the concept of the American Dream, the idea of having a small family, a house, a car, and leading an idyllic lifestyle. But for more and more Americans that dream is becoming further and further away from reality. With a rising cost of living, more expensive housing, food, and education, it seems that each generation is less and less well off than generations before. More Americans than ever believe that the American Dream is unattainable, [...]


Social Security Continues to Disappoint

Although the Social Security system was originally intended only to provide a backstop to retirees who may not have had enough money saved up for retirement, the initial benefits received by Social Security recipients lured many people into a false sense of security, leading them to believe that they could survive in retirement solely on their checks from the government. Despite the continued erosion of benefits over the succeeding decades, and court rulings making it clear that Social Security [...]

Causes of the Financial Crisis

Don’t Be Mistaken About the Cause of the Next Crisis

One thing that’s almost universally true of the financial media is that they are ignorant of economics. Read just about any financial commentator and you’ll find articles chock full of bad economics and debunked fallacies. Whether it’s the “benefit” of higher government spending contributing to GDP growth, the necessity of the Fed to stimulate demand, or the broken window fallacy in the aftermath of natural disasters, you can be almost assured that whatever you’re reading is full of errors. [...]

stock prices high

Do You Know Why Stock Prices Are So High?

To millions of American investors, the bull market in stocks of the past few years has added billions of dollars to their 401(k), IRA, and other retirement accounts. Most investors don’t know or care why stock markets have shot up so much, but they certainly enjoy benefiting from that run. If you take a look at the underlying causes behind that run, however, you begin to realize that things are much more precarious than they seem. The root cause, of [...]


5 Dangers to the Near-Term Value of Your Investments

With stock markets near all-time highs and economic data such as GDP and the unemployment rate looking rosy, many investors have been lulled into a false sense of security, believing that the economy is going strong and that they’ll continue to make gains well into the future. But that feeling is dangerous, as there are numerous issues lurking about that could upend markets and usher in another financial crisis. Investors who fail to pay attention to these issues could [...]


Europe’s Attempt at Divergence Will Be Bad News for the Dollar

In the aftermath of World War II, the United States was not just a military superpower but also an economic superpower. As the world’s largest economy and with the dollar being established as the world’s reserve currency, the US government had no qualms about taking advantage of that position. Even in the aftermath of the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system and the closing of the gold window the US dollar remained the world’s reserve currency. But decades of [...]


There’s No Better Time Than Now to Buy Gold and Silver

One of the temptations that most investors fall prey to is the temptation to check the value of their investment portfolio on a daily basis. When prices rise significantly, they feel great; when prices drop significantly, they feel like they made a bad decision. But looking at things in the short term is never a good way to think about investments. Every asset you invest in will have ups and downs. The important thing to think about is whether [...]


Avoid Making These 5 Retirement Planning Mistakes

Retirement planning is one of those things that is necessary for everyone to do, but that everyone hates actually having to do. The myriad options available in terms of investment assets, the multiple firms competing for your business, and the knowledge that making a mistake could costs you thousands of dollars of your hard-earned money puts so much pressure on people that many just want to put off retirement planning as long as they can. That can be problematic, [...]