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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.”

Why Is October Bad for Stocks?

Submitted by Nicholas Atkeson and Andrew Houghton on Friday, October 24, 2014 - 9:00am

Historically, October is the weakest period for stocks, which we have witnessed firsthand, yet again. The huge crashes of 1929 and 1987 happened during the 10th month. Why? There are several reasons, ranging from regularly occurring events to plain bad luck that for some reason lands this month.

Flash Boys Bedevil Us Again

Submitted by Brenda P. Wenning on Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 9:00am

The flash boys are agents of the Evil One. In light of stocks’ recent downturn, Satan seems firmly in control of the market. The flash boys, a.k.a. high frequency traders, were certainly involved in this mischief.

High Fund Fees’ Ill Effects

Submitted by Ted Parchman on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - 12:00pm

We can’t control the markets; we can control the costs that help or hinder our investment strategy. What may seem like only a slightly higher fee today can add up to a significant cut of your net return over time. And the first step in minimizing fees is spotting them.

Creative Destruction Investing

Submitted by Lewis J. Walker on Monday, October 27, 2014 - 9:00am

Every time the market swoons, as it has recently, there is a lot of handwringing, as if the natural order has disintegrated. What we are seeing is a process called “creative destruction,” and it is healthy.

The junk bond crash of the early 1990s, the tech wreck of the late 1990s, the housing bust of the last decade – all were necessary weeding out of economic structures that had outlived their usefulness.

Invest Like a Girl

Submitted by Maureen Crimmins on Monday, October 27, 2014 - 3:00pm

Patience is a virtue. When it comes to investing, that’s why women often do better than men.

My household is filled with girls. When raising them, my husband and I always tell them that their gender does not limit them. They can do anything they choose; that means playing softball and soccer, dancing, shoveling in the winter and landscaping in the spring. If you still think doing something “like a girl” is a bad thing, watch this latest ad by Always.

401(k): Safety in Allocation

Submitted by Tim Long on Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 3:00pm

Peaks and valleys of the market probably give you fits about your investments in retirement savings accounts. Nobody can tell when Wall Street’s ups will peak and its lows bottom out, but you can protect yourself with patience and a cool head.

A Strong Dollar’s Impact

Submitted by Joseph A. Clark on Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 9:00am

Among all the ebb and flow of financial news, what is important and what isn’t? Definitely important: the dollar’s rise. This doesn’t easily lend itself to TV visuals, but it should have a big impact on investors.

Misguided 401(k) Asset Mixes

Submitted by Rick Kahler on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 9:00am

People often have lousy asset allocation in their retirement plans. Overdone risk avoidance and other behavioral tics combine to ensure they probably will not create the wealth they need to retire comfortably.

Here is a conversation I've had too many times: An acquaintance says proudly that he invests the maximum into his 401(k). I ask what allocation he's made between equities and bonds. He says he just divides his contributions equally among the four investment choices the plan offers. I cringe.