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The Case for Closed-Ends

Submitted by Joseph A. Clark on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 12:00pm

You don’t hear much about them, but closed-end funds offer a way to buy a good portfolio of securities, often for cheap. When markets fall (as they recently did and will again) CEFs can be attractive alternatives.

How to Make a Good Plan

Submitted by Joseph A. Clark on Friday, November 14, 2014 - 12:00pm

What’s the primary reason to invest in stocks and bond? To build assets for your retirement. For some, that may be a long way away, so they focus on more short-term needs. That’s a mistake. You need a plan.

Two-thirds of Americans have no financial plan, a Northwestern Mutual survey shows. And of those who do have one, it too often is flimsy.

The Best Money Mindset

Submitted by Rick Kahler on Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 3:00pm

Do you want to more easily change your over-spending behavior? According to some new research, maybe all you need is to count your life’s blessings. A mindset of gratitude gives people the patience to handle money better.

The Era of Faster Trading

Submitted by Lewis J. Walker on Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 9:00am

The stock rally had a major interruption recently. The week ending Oct. 17 saw wild movements in stock prices. Is such volatility normal? Yes. Get used to it, because the market has changed and now emphasizes more speed.

CalPERS’ Bad Hedge Timing

Submitted by Larry Elkin on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 9:00am

The hallmark of the undisciplined investor is a tendency to buy high and sell low – in other words, to follow the market herd. That’s what California’s public pension plan, the nation’s largest, and others like it did: CalPERS got into hedge funds when they were popular, and now that they’re not, it is bailing.

Those Amazing GDP Increases

Submitted by Brenda P. Wenning on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - 9:00am

Isn’t it odd that the government’s economic growth number keeps climbing with each revision? You don’t think there is a political component to this, do you?

If you repeat something often enough, you may even start to believe it. So try this phrase: “The economy is improving. The economy is improving. The economy is improving.”

Time to Dump Bonds? No

Submitted by Lon Jefferies on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 12:00pm

If you invest in bonds, you probably worried in recent years about rising interest rates. You shouldn’t.

Climbing rates mean your existing bonds effectively yield less and make you yearn for newer bonds with higher yields. Bond prices fall as yields rise. A valid concern – today’s historically low interest rates are overdue to jump – but is now when to scrap your old paper?

First, consider one of the most basic principles of investing: Markets are unpredictable. Are we certain interest rates will rise? If so, soon?

Why Predictions Are Wrong

Submitted by Sterling Raskie on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 9:00am

Ever plan a picnic, family ballgame or just a few hours kicking back in the sunshine – and first check your TV, radio, laptop or smartphone for the weather forecast? Did the weatherman nail it? The same uncertainly blows across many predictions – including those for the stock market.