Bonds

3 Key Dividend Dates

We all have important dates to remember in our lives, such as birthdays and anniversaries. When it comes to investing for dividends, investors should memorize three key dates: date of declaration, date of record and date of payment.

Some companies offer dividend-paying stocks, which give their shareholders a percentage of the profits in cash, usually quarterly. Sometimes, companies pay large special dividends, such as Microsoft in 2004, because they have excess cash on their books.

How to Get a Decent Return

What kind of a portfolio return can you reasonably hope for? My goal, as an advisor, is to average 8.5% yearly. While no return is guaranteed, how can an investor reasonably hope to attain that performance?

Unemployed? Blame Boomers

Unemployment, while somewhat improved, is still too high. One culprit is the huge baby boom generation, which is reluctant to retire.

Each day, another 8,000 baby boomers turn 65. The U.S. Census Bureau says there are more than 77 million baby boomers, defined as those born between 1946 and 1964.  By 2030, all boomers will be over 65 and will represent about 20% of the population.

Buffett Vs. Hedge Funds

You can make big money from hedge funds – especially if you run one. Otherwise, average investors in these holdings often face stiff fees that corrode returns. For proof, ask America’s premiere investing icon: Warren Buffett.

How Alibaba Can Help Yahoo

The pending stock sale of Alibaba is good news for long-suffering Web portal Yahoo, which owns about a quarter of the Chinese e-commerce giant. But this could trigger a huge tax bill for Yahoo. How can it offset that? By using a tax maneuver involving floating new debt, John Malone-style.

Amid Chaos, Invest for Income

Fighting again in the Middle East, oil prices and Wall Street volatile and apparently you need life insurance to fly certain airlines: In what seem scary times to invest, how do you cut through the clutter of panicky, short-term and just plain bad money strategies?

Everyone wants a strategy that builds confidence about investing – especially when everyone seems to be holding their breath. My answer: income investing, a way to generate consistent cash flow from your liquid investments.

Low Wages Keep Rates Low

Don’t rush to get rid of bonds yet. Rising interest rates, which harm bond prices, are not in the offing. Despite good news on jobless figures, the Federal Reserve’s concerns about wages may keep rates low for longer than markets expect.

Questions About Alternatives

Alternative investments are all the rage these days. Think through all the details, though, before deciding if they fit your financial plans.

Mutual fund companies fall all over themselves to sell financial advisors and their clients on “liquid alts” easily bought or sold or on hedge fund-like strategies with the daily liquidity offered in a mutual fund wrapper.

How to Hedge for Inflation

No investment can perfectly hedge inflation, but placing some protection against inflation in your portfolio is still possible. Your best bets are short-term Treasury Inflation Protected Securities and commodities.

When evaluating whether an asset class effectively protects against inflation, we examine the correlation between the returns and inflation. The stronger the correlation is, the better inflation protection the asset provides.

Trouble in a Quiet Market?

Some indicators point to a complacent market lately. Boon or warning? How scared or comfortable are investors now and, for that matter, how reliable are our indicators?

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