How did you react to the stock market’s (defined, in my mind, as the S&P 500 index) recent precipitous drop? If you’re like many investors, you moved out of ‘risky’ assets such as stocks and into ‘safe’ assets such as money market funds and stable value funds. Unfortunately, the seeming safety of fixed income investments is a mirage… hidden forces, such as the danger of inflation, make ‘safe’ investments less safe than first glance. Paradoxically, the recent movement to safer portfolios has put many people at risk for a reduction in the real value of their money in inflation adjusted dollars.
As noted in a CNN article today, one way to gauge the market’s reading of current conditions is by reading the bond yields. Twice I’ve taken a look at how you can use Treasury Inflation Protected Securities plotted with the Daily Treasury Yield Curve to get a glimpse at the market’s inflation expectations (TIPS adjust their value due to CPI). Some other interesting ratios are presented, the treasury yield curve on its own, and the spread between junk bonds and government debt.
A collection of good links and carnival hosts from the week starting August 31.
Ever made a mistake in investing? Yeah, I bet you have. I have too.
The reasons that investors make mistakes are numerous and hard to detail, but the Wall Street Journal took a really good shot at it today. Covering everything from the pain of selling at a loss to mental accounting, it’s one of the best personal finance articles I’ve read in a long time. Oh, and I read a lot. Everyone has biases which make mistakes possible, the question is how can we recognize them and adapt? Read on…
A collection of links and thank yous to carnivals and good stories from the week.
Recently I received an out-of-the-blue request from Keith Morris, the editor of the new LifeTuner Chat Carnival and the Community Manager for LifeTuner, to write an article for the upcoming carnival on “Financial Lessons Learned the Hard Way”. First off, I’d like to thank Keith for tossing an invite my way and having the optimism to think that I might have something interesting to contribute. I hope I can offer you some first person narrative which you enjoy enough to finish. That’s the thing about introspective pieces… I wonder the utility my experiences have to you readers? Well, let’s toss aside the deep commentary and cornucopia of supporting links for a second and do some old fashion writing. Who’s with me?
Posts We Liked! Read these. We did. We liked them enough to provide the links for you here. “Will Buffet’s Value Principals Survive Buffet?” – Warren Buffet’s advancing age means one day soon his investing principals will have to carry on without him. Will the value investing movement survive without it’s de facto leader? “Oil […]
Master Limited Partnerships are publicly traded Limited Partnerships, most often investing in the extraction and transportation of raw materials. A limited partnership is a limited liability corporate structure which contains Limited Partners, and at least one General Partner. This gives the funds great tax advantages with liquidity advantages coming from their listing on a public exchange. The lack of understanding of MLPs also means they are a great place to start looking for market pricing disconnects and investment opportunities.
Carnivals DQYDJ articles are featured in for the week of August 10, and select links from around the internet on interesting and relevant topics.
Unlike the swine flu, the personal finance bug is a relatively hard bug to get. Unfortunately (for them), far too many people avoid putting any thought into their future until that ‘future’ is right around the corner. Investing is a topic that comes up a lot when I talk with people. How you field open ended questions like “How do I invest in stocks?” is a make or break question in which you need to figure out before your trust is deserved. I’ve come up with a step by step method which I use to narrow my confidant’s thoughts and distill their true intentions. Read on, then leave me comments on your style.