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federal reserve

What Will the Federal Reserve Do Next?

Last week’s hearing with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell doesn’t inspire confidence that the Fed knows what it is doing. Much attention has been focused recently on the yield curve, the spread between 2-year and 10-year Treasury securities, which has become increasingly narrow in recent weeks. The spread is becoming so close, in fact, that it risks inversion, with interest rates on 2-year bonds exceeding that of 10-year bonds. Every time that has happened in recent history, economic recession [...]

retirement plan

Periodic Versus Lump Sum Investing: The Importance of Timing

It’s time once again to discuss the importance of timing when it comes to investing. Timing plays a role in investing success whether we like it or not, and it affects investing strategies. Because of that, your investing strategy may need to change depending on whether you’ve got a lump sum of money to invest or whether you intend to invest on a periodic basis. You hear a lot of commentary about how just a little bit of money invested [...]


Will the Yield Curve Indicate a Recession Once Again?

One key indicator of the economy’s health that economists and financial market observers look at is the yield curve. In particular, they look at the spread between the yield on 2-year Treasury bonds and 10-year Treasury bonds. As the difference between the yield on those two maturities narrows, the yield curve is said to be flattening. And in some cases the yield on the 2-year bond exceeds that of the 10-year bond, in which case the yield curve is [...]


Job Growth Seems Strong, But How Does That Reflect on the Economy?

There’s a tendency, when looking at economic data, to look at aggregate measures and use them as proxies to determine the health of the economy. When looking at job numbers, for example, it’s tempting to look at figures for the total number of jobs, number of employment openings, and the unemployment rate to figure out how healthy the economy is. If you do that, you’d figure that the economy is pretty healthy right now. The unemployment rate is at a [...]

passive income

Passive Investing Doesn’t Mean Being a Passive Investor

One of the most popular investing strategies today, and one that’s growing more popular all the time, is passive investing. It’s a strategy that focuses on investing in low-cost funds that track popular stock indices, such as the S&P 500, the Russell 2000, the Wilshire 5000, etc. Rather than trying to beat markets through active stock-picking, the passive funds merely try to match the performance of markets. Many advocates of passive investing also urge investors to maintain a buy [...]


The Founders Had It Right When It Comes to Gold and Silver

Last week marked the 242nd anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which began one of the greatest experiments in liberty the world has ever seen. But while we can see with hindsight how successful the American Revolution was, there were a number of times when it came perilously close to failure. Learning their lesson, the Founding Fathers sought to create a Constitution that would ensure that those mistakes would never be repeated. One of the primary reasons [...]


Are Banks Beginning to Keep Their Customers’ Gold?

There are concerning new reports emanating from Europe that customers looking to withdraw large amounts of cash or gold from their banks are being denied. And while that is understandably frustrating for the depositors involved, it’s a worrying sign for all depositors everywhere. When the time comes to request your cash or your gold, do you know that you’ll be able to access it? If it’s stored in a bank, you can’t know that answer with any certainty, which [...]

gold retirement

Only Gold Can Offer True Financial Independence in Retirement

One of the main concerns for most investors in retirement is remaining financially independent. Everyone wants to have enough money to retire on, and no on wants to run out of money. That would mean having to go back to work if you’re still young enough, or having to rely on the charity of family and friends if you’re older. The stress that would cause could end up taking years off your life. That’s why investors planning for retirement need [...]

interest rates

Think Easy Monetary Policy Is Over? Not So Fast

With the Federal Reserve having raised its target federal funds rate for the past year and a half and showing commitment to slowly drawing down the size of its balance sheet, many have declared the era of easy money to be over. But that’s not really the case. Yes, interest rates will rise as the Fed tightens its policy, but despite the limited tightening the Fed remains, as it itself has stated, extraordinarily accommodative. A federal funds rate at [...]


Household Wealth Tops $100 Trillion for First Time

Recently released data from the Federal Reserve shows that the wealth of American households has surpassed $100 trillion for the first time. But are American households really better off? Much of the wealth of American households isn’t immediately liquid, being held in the form of financial assets such as stocks, or tied up in the value of housing. As such, those assets aren’t really worth anything until they’re sold. But if everyone tries to sell their assets at the same [...]