Are US Stocks a Sure Thing?

The drive to restore investment portfolios to the levels set before the Great Recession is still influencing investor decisions. In past blogs, I’ve expressed concern the economic downturn would make people more vulnerable to get-rich-quick schemes.   A recent chart published by The Economist,  A Multitude of Madoffs, showed the SEC  filed more than twice the number of Ponzi scheme cases in 2010 as they did in 2008;  and the FBI is currently investigating 1,000 cases of investment fraud.  The temptation to invest in something that sounds too good to be true is much greater [read more]
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So, Um, What is a Private Equity Firm?

(from Marilyn Geewax’s NPR report, 1/19/2012 – click here for the original post.  Marilyn is NPR’s Senior Business Editor.  Besides assigning and editing business stories, Geewax regularly discusses economic issues on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.  More on Marilyn can be found here.)  In the run-up to Saturday’s GOP presidential primary in South Carolina, candidates have clashed over the role of Bain Capital — a firm that either creates or kills jobs, depending upon whom you believe. Front-runner Mitt Romney sees the bright side. Before entering politics in the 1990s, he co-founded Boston-based Bain Capital, [read more]
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Do You Want Fries with That?

 
I was reminded of this line from a Tim McGraw song when I went to the dentist Monday.  I began a relationship with a new dentist a few years ago after my dentist of 25 years retired.  For the first two years everything was great.  I liked that my new dentist was close to my age (we could grow old together), had a friendly staff and appeared to be utilizing the latest technology.  My eyebrows were initially raised about a year ago when I noticed her face staring back at me from the seat … [read more]
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Social Media & Investing – Protect Your Information

Investors increasingly turn to social media for information when making investment decisions.  Our social media lunch and learns have been some of our most well attended sessions.  This is a positive advancement as information becomes instantly available to the masses, but it also means we must be more vigilant than ever when it comes to protecting privacy and identity.
The SEC recently released two separate Investor Alerts involving investors and use of social media, focusing on what investors can do to avoid potential fraud.  We thought it would be worthwhile to provide a brief synopsis [read more]
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Is My Money Safe? Part II

In my last blog I discussed the safety of investment custodians such as Fidelity and Schwab, after I received a concerned email from a client.  After watching Jon Corzine, the former CEO of MF Global, trying to explain how $1.2 billion was missing from their clients’ brokerage accounts, he was worried about his own.
The next important question to ask is whether you can trust your advisor.  Research indicates most investors believe their advisor is very trustworthy, even if the evidence shows otherwise.  It’s great to have an advisor you feel you can trust, [read more]
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