Retirement Saving is Not Gambling

A few years back my cousin visited me while I was still in school. Since he had never been to Vegas, my roommate and I decided to take him there... as soon as he landed in Los Angeles. Hilarity ensued... and nothing was learned at all about retirement saving except how not to approach it.

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Carnivals and Links, Week of September 13

Carnivals and posts for your required reading list.

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The Laffer Curve: Why Increasing Tax Rates Don't Always Increase Revenues

When the United States, and even the individual states find themselves in turbulent financial times, a commonly repeated theme they tend to repeat is that taxes need to be increased in order to shore up revenues. When states and countries find themselves with budget gaps, instead of trimming programs (so called 'belt-tightening' in the private population) they tend to attempt to keep the same level of programs by increasing the tax rate. Is this practice sustainable?

I will write this article in two pieces. First, in this article, I will cover the theoretical aspects of why this is not automatically true. In the next article I will give you some empirical data which you can examine and either agree or disagree with me. Let's begin.

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Carnivals and Links, Week of September 7

A collection of awesome articles and carnival hosts for the week.

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The Risk of Not Enough Risk

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.

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Using Treasury Bond Yields to Determine Economic Signs of Health

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.

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Carnivals and Links, Week of August 31

A collection of good links and carnival hosts from the week starting August 31.

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Mistakes We Make

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...

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Carnivals and Links, Week of August 24

A collection of links and thank yous to carnivals and good stories from the week.

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Financial Lessons Learned The Hard Way

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?

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